Longtime Jihad Watch readers will remember Bakri, who used to be an open and complacent jihadist in Britain. A few years back he held a conference honoring the “Magnificent 19,” and there is no telling how many of his proteges and disciples are still active in the U.K. “Radical Lebanon cleric Omar Bakri jailed for life,” by Omar Ibrahim for AFP, November 11 (thanks to all who sent this in):
TRIPOLI, Lebanon — Radical Islamic preacher Omar Bakri, who was sentenced to life in prison on charges including inciting murder, told AFP on Friday he would “not spend one day” behind bars.
“I will not hand myself in to any court. I do not believe in the law in Britain as in Lebanon,” Bakri told AFP at his home in the northern coastal city of Tripoli a day after the verdict against him.
“I have 15 days to appeal the verdict,” he said, adding that he would “not spend one day in prison.”
Bakri, a radical Sunni who has praised the September 11, 2001 attacks describing the hijackers as the “magnificent 19”, was sentenced to life in prison by a Lebanese military court on Thursday.
He was found guilty — along with more than 40 other Lebanese, Palestinian and Saudi citizens — of charges that include inciting murder and belonging to an armed faction, capping a trial that had opened three years ago.
Bakri, who holds Lebanese nationality and lives in Tripoli, failed to show up in court on Thursday when the sentence was read. The other defendants were also sentenced in absentia.
He told AFP that he had not been informed formally the court would issue a verdict and insisted that he was innocent.
“I have no ties to Al-Qaeda, direct or indirect, other than the fact that I believe in the same ideology,” he said at his home in the Abi Samra neighbourhood, a hub for radical Islamist groups….