April 19, 2008: ‘Arrogant’ Islamist activists jailed for inciting terror (Sean O’Neill)
An Islamist extremist jailed yesterday for terrorist fundraising and inciting terror abroad will be released by the middle of next year.
Abu Izzadeen, 33, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison at Kingston upon Thames Crown Court by a judge who described him as arrogant and contemptuous.
The extremist speaker will serve only half that term and, having already spent a year in jail on remand, he can expect to be released in 15 months.
Simon Keeler, 35, who was found guilty of the same offences, also received a four-and-a-half-year sentence.
Both men are converts to Islam and followers of the exiled cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed. Abu Izzadeen, who in 2006 shouted down John Reid, then Home Secretary, was born Trevor Brooks, while Keeler prefers to be known by the name Suliman.
Shah Jilal Hussain, 24, who absconded while on bail, surrendered to the court yesterday. He was jailed for two years on the fundraising charge and three months for breach of his bail conditions.
Three other men, including one already in prison for soliciting murder during the Danish cartoon protests, were jailed for terms of between two years and three years, nine months.
Judge Nicholas Price, QC, told the men: ‘Long before freedom of expression was enshrined by statute it has been a well-established principle of a free and democratic society.
‘There must be room in such a democratic society not only for views which are favourably received but also views which shock, offend or disturb the state.’ He said the men had ‘abused’ the right and committed criminal acts at a protest meeting in 2004, when they called on their audience to join and provide money to the Iraqi insurgency.
The judge told Abu Izzadeen: ‘I am left in no doubt that your speeches were used by you as self-aggrandisement and not as an expression of sincerely held religious views. I find that you are arrogant, contemptuous and utterly devoid of any sign of remorse.’