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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 February 2008, 12:30 GMT
Top extremist recruiter is jailed



Mousa Brown
Mousa Brown: Found not guilty after massive trial

A man cleared of being involved in terrorism training camps has claimed MI5 approached him to be an informer.

Speaking exclusively to the BBC, Mousa Brown said he also believed he had been prosecuted for being a Muslim who "unfortunately enjoyed paintballing with friends".

Mr Brown was acquitted last week of being part of terrorism training camps run by Mohammed Hamid.

He said his life had been ruined by 18 months spent on remand.

In an interview with the BBC, which can be watched in full from this page, Mr Brown said he had been left embittered and angry with the way he had been treated after being arrested in 2006.

Mr Brown was charged alongside other men of having been part of camps organised by East London man Hamid.

ON HAMID
Mohammed Hamid
The person that I know has never been a terrorist - he has a lot of love in his heart
Mousa Brown talking about Mohammed Hamid

Prosecutors said Hamid ran camps in the Lake District and the New Forest to identify Muslim men who could go abroad for further training.

Woolwich Crown Court heard Hamid was a friend of the 21/7 bombers who had attended one of his camps.

Referring to allegations prosecutors made about his own activities, Mr Brown said the picture painted bore no resemblance to reality.

He had ended up in the dock, he said, because of his Muslim beard and the leisure activities he enjoyed.

"This is because of legislation which says that I'm a terrorist because I went paintballing and look the way I look," Mr Brown told the BBC after his release.

"It was blatantly obvious to the police that I was innocent," he said. "They knew [from the beginning]. They knew after I was charged."

Mr Brown said officers from MI5 approached him after police had charged him with involvement in Hamid's camps, and had offered him a deal.

"They said to me that they knew that I'm not a terrorist and 'we can help you'," he said.

"They wanted me to become an informant in the community. I will never forget that.

Hamid and friends paintballing
Paintballing: Mousa Brown said trips were innocent fun

"They would have known that I was innocent because of the surveillance - they would have heard my views on terrorism.

"I have condemned it outright in conversations that they taped."

Mr Brown said he believed he had gone into the trial like a football team "15 points behind" at the start of the season, thanks to police and media attention to the case.

He also went on to attack journalists for reporting the prosecution's case against the men but failing to be in court to hear the defence.

Another man who was cleared in relation to the police operation, Musa Ahmet, also told the BBC that he was angry with the prosecution.

Mr Ahmet said he believed he had been arrested because police wanted him out of the way while they prosecuted his brother, Atilla Ahmet.

Atilla Ahmet pleaded guilty last year to soliciting to murder charges in relation to what prosecutors say were hate speeches at Hamid's gatherings.

Police said Ahmet was the right-hand-man of the jailed preacher Abu Hamza.

'Unrecognisable picture'

But his brother Musa said he believed his brother was innocent and had only ever acted as security for the radical cleric.

He said he had unanswered questions over why he himself had ended up in court.

Asked about Hamid, his friend, who had been convicted by the jury, Mr Brown said that picture of him was not one he recognised.

"The person that I know has never been a terrorist - he has a lot of love in his heart," he said.

"The people who know him, know what kind of guy he is."

  • Trial coverage for the BBC News website: Dominic Casciani and Steve Swann



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