Abu Izzadeen

Abu Izzadeen is an Islamist propagandist and radical cleric who has been imprisoned in the United Kingdom for inciting and fundraising for terrorismDuncan Gardham, “Muslim preacher Abu Izzadeen guilty of inciting terrorism,” Telegraph (London), April 17, 2008, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1895959/Muslim-preacher-Abu-Izzadeen-guilty-of-inciting-terrorism.html;
“Six guilty of terrorism support,” BBC News, April 17, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7352969.stm.
and for association with radical Islamist groups Al Ghurabaa and al-Muhajiroun.“Profile: Abu Izzadeen,” BBC News, August 17, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7353136.stm; Murray Wardrop, “Islamic hate preacher arrested on terrorism charge,” Telegraph (London), November 3, 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/8865616/Islamic-hate-preacher-arrested-on-terrorism-charge.html. Izzadeen has also used Twitter to praise ISISAbu Izzadeen, Twitter post, May 8, 2015, 2:47 p.m., https://twitter.com/AbuIzzadin/status/596748279146242048. and well-known jihadists such as Abu RumaysahAbu Izzadeen, Twitter post, April 25, 2015, 10:08 a.m., https://twitter.com/AbuIzzadin/status/591966948075900928. and Omar Bakri Muhammad.Abu Izzadeen, Twitter post, April 24, 2015, 12:50 p.m., https://twitter.com/AbuIzzadin/status/591645282280013824. Other Twitter accounts use variations of the Abu Izzadeen name, but it is unclear whether they are maintained by the same person. Izzadeen was arrested in November 2015 aboard a Romania-bound train with convicted terrorist Simon Keeler. Steph Cockroft and Tom Wyke, “British extremists appear in court surrounded by machinegun-toting guards after they were caught in Hungary despite being banned from leaving the UK,” Daily Mail (London), November 19, 2015, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3325459/British-extremists-appear-court-surrounded-machinegun-toting-guards-caught-Hungary-despite-banned-leaving-UK.html. A Hungarian court deported them both back to the United Kingdom later that month,“Hungary to deport Britons convicted of financing terror,” Associated Press, November 19, 2015, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/31dd544336e249f489b2b750ed7d0c53/hungary-deport-briton-convicted-financing-terror. and a British court sentenced Izzadeen to two years in prison in January 2016.Tim Lamden and Euan McLelland, “Revealed: How at least FIVE more British Islamic extremists with links to Jihadi Sid have slipped out of the UK in the past 20 months despite being on bail or subject to travel bans,” Daily Mail (London), January 6, 2016, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3388028/Jihadi-Sid-fled-Britain-prompting-crackdown-bail-terror-suspectses.html;
Jamie McKinnell, “Islamic extremists jailed for "serious and deliberate" breach of counter-terrorism restrictions,” Mirror (London), January 8, 2016, http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/islamic-extremists-jailed-serious-deliberate-7142974.
Media suspected Izzadeen of carrying out a March 22, 2017, attack in London in which four people, including the attacker, were killed.Jill Lawless and Danica Kirka, “4 dead in vehicle, knife attack near British Parliament,” Associated Press, March 22, 2017, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/b3d28c6eb0ea439a89de279d18e10748/reports-possible-gunfire-near-britains-parliament. However, Izzadeen was reportedly in prison during the attack, according to his attorney and other sources.Matt Vespa, “London Attacker Was Reportedly Identified As Abu Izzadeen, But There's A Problem: He's Still In Jail,” TownHall, March 22, 2017, https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2017/03/22/reports-london-attacker-identified-as-abu-izzadeennot-asian-n2302590;
“Abu Izzadeen aka Trevor Brooks: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know,” Heavy.com, March 22, 2017, http://heavy.com/news/2017/03/abu-izzadeen-trevor-brooks-london-uk-parliament-not-suspect-westminster-terror-attack-terrorism-name/.

Born Trevor BrooksRoxanne Escobales, “Q&A: Abu Izzadeen,” Guardian (London), April 18, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/apr/18/uksecurity2., Izzadeen is a Muslim convert of Jamaican descent. Izzadeen’s parents came to the United Kingdom in the 1960s and he converted to Islam at age 17.“Profile: Abu Izzadeen,” BBC News, August 17, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7353136.stm. Izzadeen reportedly radicalized in the 1990s after meeting Bakri Muhammad at the Finsbury Park Mosque.Duncan Gardham, “Muslim preacher Abu Izzadeen guilty of inciting terrorism,” Telegraph (London), April 17, 2008, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1895959/Muslim-preacher-Abu-Izzadeen-guilty-of-inciting-terrorism.html. He then became a bodyguard for Bakri Mohammad.Murray Wardrop, “Islamic hate preacher arrested on terrorism charge,” Telegraph (London), November 3, 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/8865616/Islamic-hate-preacher-arrested-on-terrorism-charge.html. Izzadeen became a primary spokesman for Al Ghurabaa, which was founded by some of Bakri Muhammad’s followers.“Profile: Abu Izzadeen,” BBC News, August 17, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7353136.stm. Following the July 7, 2005, terrorist bombings in London, Izzadeen called the bombings “mujahedeen activity” to “make people wake up and smell the coffee.”Alan Cowell, “Zambia Deports Terror Suspect Sought in U.S.; Britain Files Formal Charges in Attacks,” New York Times, August 8, 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/08/world/europe/zambia-deports-terror-suspect-sought-in-us-britain-files-formal-charges-in-attacks.html.

In November 2004, Izzadeen led a group of radicals in storming the Regents Park Mosque in London. Izzadeen then called for Muslims to fight British and U.S. troops in Iraq and give money to terrorist causes.Roxanne Escobales, “Q&A: Abu Izzadeen,” Guardian (London), April 18, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/apr/18/uksecurity2. Izzadeen also asserted that anybody who helps the Americans in Iraq should be killed. British prosecutors later convicted Izzadeen for encouraging terrorism during his speeches at the mosque.Duncan Gardham, “Muslim preacher Abu Izzadeen guilty of inciting terrorism,” Telegraph (London), April 17, 2008, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1895959/Muslim-preacher-Abu-Izzadeen-guilty-of-inciting-terrorism.html;
“Six guilty of terrorism support,” BBC News, April 17, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7352969.stm.
He was released with restriction in 2009,“Radical preacher back in prison,” BBC News, July 7, 2009, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8138312.stm; Dominic Casciani, “Radical preacher released early,” BBC News, May 6, 2009, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8035827.stm. but he has been in and out of jail since for violating the terms of his release.“Preacher with links to Islamist firebrand Anjem Choudary hit with travel ban over terror risk,” Daily Mail (London), April 11, 2015, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3035134/Preacher-links-Islamist-firebrand-Anjem-Choudary-hit-travel-ban-terror-risk.html. On January 6, 2016, he was sentenced to two years in prison for violating the terms of his release by traveling abroad.Tim Lamden and Euan McLelland, “Revealed: How at least FIVE more British Islamic extremists with links to Jihadi Sid have slipped out of the UK in the past 20 months despite being on bail or subject to travel bans,” Daily Mail (London), January 6, 2016, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3388028/Jihadi-Sid-fled-Britain-prompting-crackdown-bail-terror-suspectses.html;
Jamie McKinnell, “Islamic extremists jailed for "serious and deliberate" breach of counter-terrorism restrictions,” Mirror (London), January 8, 2016, http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/islamic-extremists-jailed-serious-deliberate-7142974.

On Twitter, Izzadeen has posted numerous anti-Western tweets. His May 11, 2015, tweet chastised the “Islam of the west,” which he perceives to have been “usurped by Kufr [nonbelieving] ideals and practices.”Abu Izzadeen, Twitter post, May 11, 2015, 5:55 a.m., https://twitter.com/AbuIzzadin/status/597701609267843072.

Using the #Texasattack hashtag, Izzadeen issued a series of condemnations of the United States following the May 2015 Islamist attack on a Draw Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas. He called the contest “clear proof” that the United States had launched a “crusade” against Islam,Abu Izzadeen, Twitter post, May 4, 2015, 5:45 a.m., https://twitter.com/AbuIzzadin/status/595162247216902144. and condemned insults to the prophet under the guise of free speech.Abu Izzadeen, Twitter post, May 4, 2015, 5:56 a.m., https://twitter.com/AbuIzzadin/status/595165099138101248.

Izzadeen briefly operated a Facebook account in October 2015.Abu Izzadeen, Facebook, accessed October 15, 2015, https://www.facebook.com/abu.izzadeen.9;
Abu Izzadeen, Twitter post, October 15, 2015, 4:30 a.m., https://twitter.com/d08adeea5ef1431/status/654575069566529536.
Several videos of Izzadeen’s speeches and interactions with British police are available on YouTube channels operating in his name. As of March 2017, one of the channels, created in March 2015, remains open but the videos have been removed.Abu Izzadeen, YouTube, accessed November 6, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyHTsKhVBZdP7Bp5F93oLoQ. Videos of Izzadeen remain up on another YouTube account, created in 2011. That channel, which spells Izzadeen’s name as “abuizzaddeen” is described as his official channel.Abu Izzadeen, YouTube, accessed March 22, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/user/abuizzaddeen/videos.


Screengrab of the YouTube channel Abu Izzadeen purportedly created in March 2015.


As of March 2017, a YouTube channel operating on behalf of Izzadeen remained active but the videos had been removed.


Videos of Izzadeen remain accessible on another YouTube account, created in 2011.

The British Home Office denied Izzadeen’s request for a passport in April 2015 on the grounds that he would likely go to Syria to fight alongside ISIS.“Preacher with links to Islamist firebrand Anjem Choudary hit with travel ban over terror risk,” Daily Mail (London), April 11, 2015, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3035134/Preacher-links-Islamist-firebrand-Anjem-Choudary-hit-travel-ban-terror-risk.html. Izzadeen was arrested in Hungary on November 14, 2015, in violation of the travel ban.Steph Cockroft and Tom Wyke, “British extremists appear in court surrounded by machinegun-toting guards after they were caught in Hungary despite being banned from leaving the UK,” Daily Mail (London), November 19, 2015, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3325459/British-extremists-appear-court-surrounded-machinegun-toting-guards-caught-Hungary-despite-banned-leaving-UK.html. When authorities asked for identification, Izzadeen presented a Quran. Authorities detained Izzadeen when he could not prove he was in Hungary legally. He also requested mineral water while in custody because tap water made him ill, he said. A Hungarian court decided to deport Izzadeen to Britain.“Hungary to deport Britons convicted of financing terror,” Associated Press, November 19, 2015, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/31dd544336e249f489b2b750ed7d0c53/hungary-deport-briton-convicted-financing-terror. On January 6, 2016, he was sentenced to two years in prison for violating the terms of his release.Tim Lamden and Euan McLelland, “Revealed: How at least FIVE more British Islamic extremists with links to Jihadi Sid have slipped out of the UK in the past 20 months despite being on bail or subject to travel bans,” Daily Mail (London), January 6, 2016, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3388028/Jihadi-Sid-fled-Britain-prompting-crackdown-bail-terror-suspectses.html;
Jamie McKinnell, “Islamic extremists jailed for "serious and deliberate" breach of counter-terrorism restrictions,” Mirror (London), January 8, 2016, http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/islamic-extremists-jailed-serious-deliberate-7142974.

On December 15, 2020, Izzadeen’s former wife, Khadidja Benboukhemis, was sentenced to 3 years in prison after being convicted of disseminating terrorist material, including ISIS propaganda video “Flames of War 2.” The hour-long video features graphic beheadings and executions.Adela Whittingham, Lorraine King, and Carl Eve, “Mum, 42, jailed for sharing ISIS videos of beheadings and childhood mutilation,” Daily Mirror, December 15, 2020, https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/mum-42-jailed-sharing-isis-23172767. According to the judge, Benboukhemi was well aware of and supported her then- husband’s allegiances.Adela Whittingham and Carl Eve, “Plymouth mum jailed for sharing terrorist video of beheadings,” Plymouth Live, December 15, 2020, https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/plymouth-mum-jailed-sharing-terrorist-4801601?_ga=2.76195549.910572949.1614636472-1315635893.1614091986.

 
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