The son of hook-handed cleric Abu Hamza has spoken out in support of holy war at a London mosque and publicly backed a suspected al-Qaeda terrorist who attempted to murder American troops in Afghanistan.
Uthman Mustafa Kamal is the second-youngest son of Britain’s most notorious preacher-of-hate, who was jailed for inciting violence at Finsbury Park mosque and is currently facing 11 terror charges in the United States.
In recent years, Mr Kamal has himself built up a following at the An-Noor mosque in Acton. Videos seen by the Evening Standard show the young man praying for “mujahids” – or holy warriors – and calling on his audience to “help” them “destroy their enemies”.
Farouq Malik, the head of the An-Noor mosque, claimed Mr Kamal was referring to Muslims fighting “occupying forces” in overseas lands, such as Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, he admitted this was not made clear and the sermon could be used by London-based Islamic extremists to foment hatred in the capital.
In another video posted on the mosque’s official YouTube channel, Mr Kamal quotes the Koran as he called on “believers” to “sell the life of this world for the Hereafter (and) fight in the Cause of Allah”.
The audio clip is accompanied with pre-9/11 Jihadist footage from countries including Palestine, Lebanon, Bosnia, Algeria, Eritrea, Kosovo and Iraq.
Dr Usama Hasan of the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism think-tank, said: “We are extremely concerned at this video. The Qur’anic verses are sacred and accepted by all Muslims as teachings about just war, but this video twists and perverts their meaning by putting a narrow, Jihadist lens on them. In fact, the video is reminiscent of 1990s Jihadist videos that were precursors to al-Qaeda’s propaganda and recruitment films.”
When he was shown the video, Mr Malik admitted it should not have been uploaded and blamed “a person we hire to put our sermons on Youtube” whose “enthusiasm doesn’t allow him to think”. He pledged to take it down immediately.
In another video on the internet, Mr Kamal is shown at a demonstration outside the US embassy praying for Aafia Siddiqui, dubbed “Lady al-Qaeda” and once one of the world’s most wanted women before her conviction for attempted murder in the US.
He said: “O God! Unbind Aafia’s chains of imprisonment…Pardon her, forgive her, have mercy on her, give her safety…Be with her…Plot on her behalf…Dignify her…Safeguard her and her children, her sons…Help her against her enemies, who are your enemies and enemies of Islam.”
Ms Siddiqui is a US-Pakistani neuroscientist who was convicted in a New York court and jailed for 86 years after she shot at American police officers and FBI agents in Afghanistan.
She was named as an associate by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks in New York.
Dr Hasan added: “We are extremely concerned that this kind of pro-terrorist propaganda is still being promoted openly on the streets of London.”
On Mr Kamal’s prayer for Ms Siddiqui, Mr Malik said: “What I know is that she is being held and she has not been convicted of anything. That is what I know. There are things that they say she is guilty of that have never been proven. I think she has been made a scapegoat…it is a travesty.”
“This is probably him siding with her and saying put her on trial or let her go. There is a humanitarian element to the whole thing.”
Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, a former shadow defence minister and military officer, said: “I hope the mosque has looked at the full implications of what this man is saying.
“The police must monitor this very carefully. If Mr Kamal is outside the law, he needs to be dealt with swiftly and effectively.”
Egypt-born Hamza, 54, was jailed for seven years in 2006 for inciting violence during his sermons at the Finsbury Park mosque in London.
Asked if he thought Abu Hamza was misconstrued, Mr Malik replied: “To an extent.” He confirmed all the videos of Mr Kamal were genuine, praised his deep knowledge of the Koran and claimed his speeches had made him a “celebrity” in the local area.
But he denied “100 per cent” that An-Noor mosque was linked to extremism and said the evidence uncovered by the Standard was “not helpful to the community”.
At the Hamza family home in a desirable part of west London, a man who refused to give his name said of Mr Kamal: “He’s not in.”
Around half an hour later Mr Kamal was seen returning to the two-storey terraced house, which has CCTV cameras fitted to its outer walls.
He declined to speak or remove his headphones and walked quickly into the house, slamming the door behind him.
This article was published in the ‘London Evening Standard’ on 19 March 2013.