Lebanon arrests radical preacher sentenced to life

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Lebanese police arrested radical Islamic preacher Omar Bakri on Sunday just days after he boasted he would "not spend one day" of a life sentence handed down last week behind bars.

"He was arrested by a patrol of intelligence agents from the Internal Security Force in his home in (the main northern city of) Tripoli," a security official told AFP.

"He is currently being transferred to Beirut."

An AFP correspondent at the scene said police had fired in the air to disperse curious onlookers who had gathered around Bakri's home.

Bakri, a fundamentalist Sunni Muslim who has praised the September 11, 2001 attacks and hailed the hijackers as the "magnificent 19," was sentenced to life by a Lebanese military court on Thursday.

The 50-year-old, who lived in Britain for 20 years, was found guilty, along with more than 40 other Lebanese, Palestinians, Syrians and Saudis, of "incitement to murder, theft and the possession of arms and explosives."

The day after the sentence was handed down he vowed he would "not spend one day in prison."

"I will not hand myself in to any court. I do not believe in the law in Britain as in Lebanon," he told AFP at his home.

© 2010 AFP

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