Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 13:22 UK

Radical preacher released early

By Dominic Casciani
BBC News home affairs reporter

Izzadeen hit the news for heckling the home secretary in 2006

A radical preacher jailed for inciting terrorism has been freed early from jail after his sentence was cut by the Court of Appeal.

Abu Izzadeen made headlines in 2006 for heckling then home secretary John Reid.

He was later convicted for terrorism fundraising and speeches urging Muslims to fight US troops in Iraq.

The Muslim convert, formerly known as Omar Brooks, left prison early from a four-and-a-half year sentence handed down following his 2008 conviction.

It means his sentence has been reduced by a year, because of the amount of time he has already served.

Izzadeen was among six men convicted at Kingston Crown Court of supporting terrorism in London speeches.

The charges related to speeches made at London's Regent's Park mosque on 9 November 2004, as US troops were engaged in a fierce battle in the Iraqi city of Falluja.

Clips of the accused men speaking about jihad, Osama bin Laden and prejudice towards Muslims were played, including one during which Izzadeen says that Allah had given mujahideen (holy warriors) a "chance to kill the American."

Top row (left to right): Abu Izzadeen; Simon Keeler; Abdul Muhid. Bottom row (left to right): Abdul Saleem; Ibrahim Hassan; Shah Jalal Hussain.
Convicted: 2008 trial for Izzadeen and friends

The 34-year-old had argued in court that 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.

At the Court of Appeal last week, counsel for Izzadeen argued that his sentence should be reduced because of the time he had spent awaiting his trial. Four of the others who were tried alongside him also had their sentences cut.

Izzadeen had been released under tight restrictions which include a curfew. He will also be subject to monitoring arrangements involving the police and probation officers, similar to those for sex offenders.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Justice said that all offenders who are released early are subject to recall if they breach their conditions or their behaviour indicates that it is no longer safe to allow them to remain in the community.

Douglas Murray, director the Centre for Social Cohesion, a think tank, said Izzadeen and the other men were a danger to society.

"Abu Izzadeen and his organisation publicly call for attacks against those whom they see as enemies of Islam.

"The early release of a hate preacher like Abu Izzadeen demonstrates that the British courts are still far away from understanding the very clear and present danger that this country is facing from militant Islamists."



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