I forbindelse med rettsaken mot den dømte islamisten Abu Hamza, sto øvrige imamer frem og vitnet om hvordan Hamza forsøkte å ta over moskèene de arbeidet i ved hjelp av voldelige tilhengere. Flere imamer skal underveis ha rapportert om Hamzas infiltrasjonsvirksomhet, som hovedsakelig ble utført ved hjelp av voldelige fremstøt fra unge gjengmedlemmer som tilhørte Hamzas organisasjon «Supporters of Sharia».
Til tross for rapporter om Hamzas fremferd nektet britisk politi å gripe inne, angivelig for ikke å forstyrre relasjonene til offisielle muslimske ledere og deres moskèer.
Several clerics told stories of being threatened by gangs claiming to be members of Abu Hamza’s Supporters of Sharia group. Some of the clerics were beaten inside their own mosques, and worshippers were bullied into finding new places to pray — and the police refused to intervene, they claim.
One police official, under condition of anonymity, said that law enforcement executives in Britain were overly cautious about their interaction with Muslim leaders and their mosques. He claims that several radical Islamic clerics possess their own private militias — fully armed and operating in total secrecy.
Police came underfire when they swarmed one mosque with search warrants in hand. To their credit they uncovered a cache of weapons, forged identity documents and recipes for chemical weapons such as the highly dangerous Ricin; all of it hidden in the mosque.
The stash of equipment included chemical warfare protection suits, or NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) suits, as they are technically known. British detectives believe the equipment and weapons were being used in terror training camps located somewhere within the United Kingdom.
Abu Hamzas mål med inifltrasjonen av britiske moskèer var å skaffe tilveie flere plasser der han og hans nettverk kunne indoktrinere en ny generasjon tilhengere. To rivaliserende imamer hevder at de endte på sykehus etter å ha blitt angrepet av Hamzas støttespillere, men at anmeldelsene deres ble ignorert av Scotland Yard. Under rettsaken fikk juryen høre et opptak der Hamza skryter av hvordan den voldelige taktikken bar frukter.
His silent rein of terror began in the late 1980s when he became a member of a group of Algerian-born radicals trying to take over the Central London Mosque.
Andre imamer og muslimer observerte at Hamza ville gjøre moskèen deres om til en politisk arena for radikal islam, og en rekrutteringsplass for terrorister. Til tross for at frykten blant Hamzas motstandere var så stor at de fleste valgte å tie, forsøkte noen få å rette offentlighetens oppmerksomhet mot det som skjedde i britiske moskèer:
Fazli Ali, 66, the former estates manager there told the London police: «Hamza and his cronies threatened me several times. I was head of security but they even threatened to kill me. Ours was a peaceful place but he wanted to turn it into a political arena.»
The religious leaders eventually evicted and banned Hamza from their mosque. But Hamza, determined to be an Islamic leader to be reckoned with, sought out more vulnerable mosques and mainstream Islamic organizations around Britain.
These newly infiltrated mosques provided Hamza with recruiting centers ripe with potential radical Islamists. They also were used to raise money which is believed to have funded terror operations and training for new recruits. There were also criminal operations such as producing bogus welfare claims and cloning credit cards.
It was from their mosques that over 100 immigrant Muslims and British-born Islamic converts were sent to Middle East locations where they attended al-Qaeda training camps. British officials including those within MI5 conceded that they don’t know what happened to these men sent for training. They believe some may have been killed in combat or suicide bomb attacks, with most disappearing like a wisp of smoke.
According to one news story in the Sunday Times of London, Imams reported what was happening to police, but say that senior officers were reluctant to interfere in the internal affairs of mosques. Some imams sued Abu Hamza in the civil court hoping to stop his plans, but they found the cases too costly and the court proceedings dragged on and on. Most of Hamza’s rival clerics were just too frightened to buck his associates who acted as his private militia in the middle of London.
Terrorism experts in the US believe similar situations exist in mosques across the country and political correctness prevents federal and local law enforcement from singling out and investigating — including infiltrating — these religious facilities.