Merchants of Hatred: On the anniversary of 9/11 this terrifying investigation reveals the hatred of Britain's enemies within
By Sue Reid
12th September 2008
Their message was as disturbing as ever - and the date, September 11, was particularly symbolic.
On Thursday evening this week, at a packed meeting in London's East End, two profoundly dangerous men urged the destruction of the British way of life.
I was there as the radical cleric and self-styled sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed proclaimed that this country - where he received state benefits for two decades - will soon be transformed into an Islamic state, or Khilafah, run according to the rules of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.
Bakri's black-robed right-hand man went one step further. Anjem Choudary, a 41-year-old militant and the leading light of a thriving new organisation called islam4UK declared: 'There are already six or seven million Muslims here in Britain.
'By the year 2020, we will be the majority.
'In the streets of London - Whitechapel, Bethnal Green, Stratford - people are becoming Muslim in their droves. By sheer numbers, Britain will become an Islamic state.
'We will never need to conquer this country. Our eyes are now on Downing Street,' he added, with an excited laugh.
Alarmingly, at the three-hour conference called to mark the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities, there were shouts of support from the 100-strong audience of men (some only boys in their teens) and women.
At first sight, the meeting in an upstairs room next to the Walthamstow Mosque on Northumberland Street, Leyton, seemed harmless.
Between speeches from the robed clerics at the front, there were breaks for prayers and a meal of chicken curry and dates.
Children played on the floor and veiled mothers held babies.
But what was being said has deep implications for the future of this country.
While 59-year-old Omar Bakri did not appear in person, his words were broadcast via computer link from 2,000 miles away in Lebanon, where he has lived since being banned from Britain.
He was exiled after financing British Muslim youths at militant jihad training camps here and abroad, and praising the London 7/7 bombers, who killed 52 people in 2005, as 'the fantastic four'.
The then Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, declared that Bakri's presence - he was living on welfare benefits in a rented house in Edmonton, North London, with his wife and large family - was 'not conducive to the public good'.
Bakri's citizenship was removed while he was visiting his mother in the Middle East, and he was told not to return.
But distance has done nothing to diminish the danger he still poses to this country.
Thursday night's meeting was told that Osama Bin Laden had taught the Americans a 'lesson' seven years ago but the 'crusaders' had not learned and the next '9/11 will take place in Britain, the next 7/7 (London bombings) could take place locally'.
Continue reading: Merchants of hate