Son of 'Tottenham Ayatollah' killed in Iraq

Infamous radical British cleric with ties to Al Qaeda loses second son killed fighting for ISIS.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Omar Bakri
Omar Bakri
Reuters

A son of the Syrian-born radical cleric Omar Bakri has been killed in Iraq fighting for the Islamic State (ISIS) group, security sources said Tuesday.

The Popular Mobilization, a paramilitary group, said that it and the security forces had killed Bilal Omar Bakri.

He was "leading a group that tried to attack one of our units" in Salaheddin north of Baghdad, according to a statement from the group, dominated by Tehran-backed Shi'ite militias.

A Lebanese security source confirmed that Bilal Omar Bakri, who was in his late 20s, had been killed "fighting in the ranks of ISIS" in Salaheddin province.

Another of the preacher's sons, Mohammad Omar, who was in his late 30s, died fighting for ISIS in Aleppo in Syria several months earlier, the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The brothers had traveled together from Britain to Iraq, the source added.

Omar Bakri, who holds Lebanese citizenship, became known in Britain for supporting Al Qaeda.

A security source said that he was sentenced in October to six years of hard labor for establishing an organization affiliated with the jihadist Nusra Front in Syria and establishing training camps for it in Lebanon.

When he was based in London, the Sunni firebrand was known in the media as the "Tottenham Ayatollah," despite the term applying to a high rank in the Shi'ite clergy.

Omar Bakri fled Britain, where he lived for two decades, to Lebanon after praising the perpetrators of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States and the July 7, 2005 bombings in London.

He was arrested and sentenced to life in prison in Lebanon on a number of charges but was freed on bail in 2010 pending a retrial, judicial sources said at the time.

He had most recently been arrested in May 2014 for his involvement in unrest in the northern city of Tripoli.

He has denied any links to Al Qaeda, although he admitted he believes "in the same ideology."

AFP contributed to this report.




top