Page last updated at 17:41 GMT, Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Accused 'not sorry' for UK deaths

Abu Izzadeen
Abu Izzadeen converted to Islam at 17

A Muslim activist has told a court he does not feel sorry for American and British troops when they die.

Abu Izzadeen denies, along with seven others, charges of inciting and fundraising for terrorism.

"If somebody is defending his wife and his house and kills them (troops), I don't feel sorry," he told Kingston Crown Court.

Mr Izzadeen hit the headlines in 2006 after heckling then Home Secretary John Reid at a meeting in east London.

He is being tried over comments made in speeches at a central London mosque as the American battle for the city of Fallujah raged in Iraq.

'Hot language'

He said he and other British Muslims had "no other weapon than our tongue" to fight against what they saw as a "massacre" by British and American forces in the city.

Mr Izzadeen, who is being tried under the name of Omar Brooks, admitted to using "extremely hot language" during speeches at the Regents Park mosque.

When we are told about people being killed and tortured the only weapon we have is our tongue
Abu Izzadeen

DVDs of all eight defendants speaking about Jihad, Osama bin Laden and prejudice towards Muslims were earlier viewed by the jury.

Mr Izzadeen said: "That's what a demonstration is all about. At a demonstration it's about getting the point across and sometimes I do use insulting and abusive language but it's nothing more than that. It's rhetoric.

"When we are told about people being killed and tortured the only weapon we have is our tongue."

Referring to the day he heckled John Reid he said he had deliberately used the minister's high profile to "get our message across".

Mr Izzadeen, who converted to Islam at the age of 17, told the jury that asking people to support terrorist organisations is illegal and he has never done so.

But he admitted that he views Osama bin Laden as a "symbol of resistance".

The men facing charges of fundraising with him are: Jalal Hussain, 25, of Whitechapel, east London; Omar Zaheer, 28, of Southall, west London; Simon Keeler, 36, of Whitechapel, east London; Ibrahim Abdullah Hassan, 25, of Leyton, east London; Rajib Khan, 29, of Luton, Bedfordshire; Abdul Muhid, 25, of Whitechapel; and Abdul Saleem, 32, of Poplar, east London.

All deny the charges.

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