For several decades, London has served as a haven for international jihad organizers, fund-raisers, and activists, who send young British Muslims on terror missions to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kashmir, Chechnya and Israel.
The Secret Group of al-Qaeda Jihad in Europe has been reported as being behind the bombings, which have left scores of dead and wounded in central London.
Complete Ynetnews coverage of Thursday's London bombing:
Omar Bakri Muhammad, head of the recently disbanded Al Muhajiroun group, is one of the most notorious Britain-based advocates of international jihad.
It is too soon to say if he was directly or indirectly involved, however, he is in many ways typical of several London based Islamist leaders, many of whom have been thrown out of Arab countries for seeking to overthrow their governments in Islamic revolutions.
Bakri is originally from Syria, where he joined the Muslim Brotherhood organization, and joined an Islamist uprising against the secular Ba’athist Syrian regime. He was active in a series of failed and bloody uprisings against the late Syrian President Hafez Assad.
He was ejected from Syria and came to Saudi Arabia, which also expelled him in 1985 for inciting revolution against the Saudi government.
Active on campus
Bakri then went to Great Britain, where he founded the Al Muhajiroun (emigrants) movement. By the 1990s, Bakri was a well known figure, delivering pro-jihad speeches to rallies in central London, and brainwashing young Muslims to hate “infidels” and to seek the establishment of a global Islamic state through holy war.
Al Muhajiroun has been active on British university campus, where it has put up posters urging Muslim students to “kill the Jews.” On April 30 2003, a British Muslim who had been involved with Al Muhajiroun,blew himself up at a Tel Aviv bar, murdering three people.
In recent months, Omar Bakri has used online chat websites to declare war on Britain.
“I am speaking about the U.K. Why it became Dar ul Harb (land of war),” Bakri told around 60 listeners on the Paltalk internet chat network.
Islamic theological scholars divided the world into two speheres: Dar ul Islam (the land of Islam) and Dar ul Harb (the land of war). The goal of jihad is to place the Dar ul Harb under Islamic control, making it part of the House of Islam.
A third category also exists - the Dar ul Ahd, or the sphere of covenant of security. On these lands, Muslims live as a minority among an amicable non-Muslim majority, and are required to live according to local laws.
In January 2005, Barkri told told his online listerners: “I believe the whole of Britain has become Dar ul Harb. That Dar ul Harb has not started yet, but still really they start it. They arrest ulema (religious men), they arrest scholars...they declare your job is to divide the Muslims, promote secularism. This is what makes it Dar ul Harb.”
Bakri urged listeners to join al Qaeda in order to carry out a jihad in Britain.
“Al Qaeda and all its branches and organizations of the world, that is the victorious group, and they have the emir and you are obliged to join. It is no need yourself to mess about,” he said. “I don’t want you to join me, I want you to join these people . . . Allah he said these are the victorious. And today the emir of that victorious group or one of them who is well known emir of the camp of jihan is Osama bin Laden. Therefore, support him. Be with them.”
A female listener called Mujaidah asked Bakri whether “sisters are allowed to do suicide bombings if the intentions are correct?”
Bakri Mohammed replied: “It happened many times in Palestine, in Chechnya, in Russia . . . this is no problem, there is no restriction.”
“Where are the victorious groups? They could now be in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, they could be in Britain,” said Bakri.
“These people are calling you and shouting to you from far distant places: al jihad, al jihad. They say to you my dear Muslim brothers, ‘Where is your weapon, where is your weapon?’ Come on to the jihad.”