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Tuesday, 13 August, 2002, 20:56 GMT 21:56 UK
Chef to sue over terror charges
Sulayman Zainulabidin
Sulayman Zainulabidin is now homeless
A London chef cleared at the Old Bailey of running a terrorist recruitment campaign, says he intends to take legal action against the police.

In his first extended interview since his release, Sulayman Zainulabidin told BBC London the internet site was only a security business.

He described the prosecution as a "joke" and said he was a scapegoat for "anti-Islamic" feeling.

Mr Zainulabidin, from Greenwich, south east London, walked free having been cleared of the first charges to be brought against a Muslim in the UK since 11 September.


I knew that there were people that would use (September 11) to attack Islam, and that is exactly what happened

Sulayman Zainulabidin

Speaking at his solicitor's office the 44-year-old said: "I had 30m in the bank, I was fundraising for Islamic Jihad in Egypt, I was responsible for sending so many people to Afghanistan and this and that - all from a one-bedroom flat, it was a joke."

A chef at the Royal College of Obstetricians, Mr Zainulabidin was born Francis Etim in Chelsea, central London.

He changed his name after converting from Roman Catholicism to Islam in 1979.

Now he is homeless and wondering how to rebuild his life.

A website Mr Zainulaibidin ran from his flat in Kidbrooke came under scrutiny after the terror attacks in America.

Security training

His company Zakina Security Services offered weapons training courses in America called the Ultimate Jihad Challenge.

There were claims in court that it was a terrorist training site.

But Mr Zainulabidin said it was a commercial venture for training people such as security guards.

He insists he is not a terrorist or a supporter of terrorism and did not support the attacks on the twin towers in New York.

"It was un-Islamic and there's no way you can justify it in Islam. But I knew that there were people that would use that to attack Islam, and that is exactly what happened."

In a statement released after the acquittal, the Metropolitan Police Service said it stood by its decision to prosecute Mr Zainulabidin.


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04 Aug 02 | Middle East
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