France 'gave Britain evidence' on Abu Hamza

8th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Feb 8, 2006 (AFP) - France gave Britain evidence implicating radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri in promoting terrorism but London failed to take action, a senior French intelligence chief said in an interview published Wednesday.

LONDON, Feb 8, 2006 (AFP) - France gave Britain evidence implicating radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri in promoting terrorism but London failed to take action, a senior French intelligence chief said in an interview published Wednesday.

Christophe Chaboud, head of France's national anti-terrorism co-ordination unit (UCLAT), told the Guardian newspaper that Abu Hamza sent dozens of people from Finsbury Park mosque in London to terror training camps in Afghanistan.

Abu Hamza, who preached at Finsbury Park mosque, was sentenced to seven years in prison Tuesday after his criminal trial in London found him guilty of incitement of racial hatred and soliciting murder.

"We thought it would have been necessary to take action, to arrest and prosecute him," Chaboud was quoted as saying.

The newspaper said Britain's alleged "toleration" of Abu Hamza and other Islamists led France to dub London as "Londonistan." It claimed France was so concerned that it ran undercover missions with the mosque as the target.

Chaboud told the Guardian that French intelligence believed Abu Hamza was playing a key role in spreading jihad.

"It involved propaganda and convincing young people to go to Afghanistan... from the mid-1990s until the coalition attacks in 2001," he was quoted as saying.

"Finsbury Park mosque played an active part in radicalizing young Muslims, preparing them and sending them to Al-Qaeda camps," he said.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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