Abu Hamza Was Allowed to Preach Hate as Authority Looked the Other Way.
Time and time again British officials were given evidence of the radical cleric's involvement in terrorism, but nothing was done to stop him.
NO ONE seemed willing to take responsibility for tackling the Abu Hamza problem.
Government departments pointed the finger of blame at one another; politicians complained that the police and the spymasters did not investigate him properly; Scotland Yard moaned about MI5 and vice-versa. Detectives felt that the Crown Prosecution Service let them down; the CPS moaned that the court system was stacked against them. The judges retorted that they did not make the laws; if anyone was to blame it was the civil servants and politicians at Westminster. The blame game went round and round as Tony Blair banged the table in exasperation.
Every chance there had been to pursue Abu Hamza seemed to have been missed, wasted or blocked.
For more than twenty years there had been a catalogue of bureaucratic foul-ups and a lack of resolve by the British authorities to tackle him, even when presented with a clear opportunity to do so.
The first occasion was in 1980, when Abu Hamza was arrested as an illegal immigrant and brought before the courts for overstaying his visa. Had his case been subjected to a proper investigation, potential offences under the Marriage Act, the Births and Deaths Registration Act and the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act could have been discovered. But the validity of his marriage to Valerie Traverso and the truth about his claim to be the father of her baby daughter were not examined.
He came to the attention of the police again in the mid-1980s, when his bullying behaviour began to alarm the imams and trustees of a number of mosques. Members of the Muslim community in Brighton approached Sussex police, and at Regent’s Park mosque in London trustees took court action to keep him away from the building.
When he returned from Afghanistan and Bosnia in the mid-1990s there was further trouble in Luton. But he was left to carry on with his activities and to seize control at Finsbury Park.
Abdulkadir Barkatullah, one of the management committee ousted by Abu Hamza, said he and community representatives went to the police seven times to complain about assaults and extremist activities inside the mosque. No action was taken.
The Prime Minister had urged the Muslim community to do more about the scourge of extremism within its own ranks but, Barkatullah said, “When we did do precisely that with Abu Hamza, we were ignored.”
Read the rest of this article at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,29389-2205344,00.html