I met Hamid a couple of times at Speakers Corner in Hyde park though I only filmed him talking to Barry one of the times the mosque opened. He wasn't that regular in Finsbury park, I believe he was instrumental in the negotiations between the waring factions.
Channel 4 News:
An Islamic leader who called himself "Osama Bin London" groomed and corrupted young Muslims - including the 21/7 bombers - at terror training camps across Britain, a court has heard. Mohammed Hamid told his followers the 52 deaths in the July 7 attacks on London were "not even breakfast to me", the jury was told.
...He ran an Islamic bookstall on Oxford Street with Muktar Ibrahim, one of the guilty bombers, where he was arrested for being aggressive to members of the public and making a racist comment to a policeman, the jury was told.
... Hamid, 50, of Clapton, east London, is accused of soliciting to murder, a charge to which co-accused Atilla Ahmet has already pleaded guilty.
...The court also heard how Hamid and two other of his co-defendants, Mousa Brown and Mohammed al-Figari, were filmed paintballing in February 2005 by a BBC crew in Tonbridge, Kent, for a documentary called “Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic.”
Five of the six defendants, along with July 21 bombers Ramzi Mohammed and Hussein Osman, were at the same centre on July 3 - just four days before the suicide attacks in London, it was alleged. MI5 put a recording device in Hamid’s home in September 2005 and in April 2006 an undercover officer approached his stall in Oxford Street and was invited to join the Friday prayer meetings and to go on camping weekends in the New Forest and at an Islamic school in Sussex.
It was at the school in Sussex on July 22 2006, that Hamid’s comments about the July 7 deaths more than a year earlier were recorded.
He was heard on surveillance tapes telling a follower: “You know what happened on the Tubes, four people got shaheed (martyred). How many people did they take out? That’s not even a breakfast for me....
Yup. I've been at the trial for a couple of days now where the judge amongst other things had to decide whether Attila's guilty plea could be referred to by the prosecution. I saw Atilla plead guilty a while back. Now reporting restrictions have been lifted I can tell you that when the possibility of him "going guilty" came up in conversations with his wife over the phone and Hajj in person I always told them I thought it was a good idea and that I thought a jury would convict him. I didn't and still don't know most of the evidence against him.
Hamids defence asked for a copy of my film of him talking to Barry which I gave them. I recognise some of the Jamaican guys from Finsbury park and know Jamal, who wrote this a while back went paint balling with them for the documentary. He has been inside a long time but not for anything terrorist related.
Can't really say a lot more yet. It all looks like a bunch of public school kids with wigs acting from the public gallery. All eyes turned to the jury as they filed in below me out of sight. I thought they were all trying to suck up to them early. I didn't realise a hundred people had just walked in. The judge whitled the number down to thirty who would be up for a long trial by a show of hands.
More tales from the public gallery when I can get there. I'm not allowed to write notes up there, which is strange as I could in the Old Bailey, maybe I should get special dispensation from the judge. Ther is however a glass partition so we can talk a bit more without getting thrown out.
Obviously in the case of Abdullah (Atilla Ahmet) I feel a personal sense of failure that I wasn't able to involve him in something more constructive media-wise or to reach out to him on a more personal level. This was all a long time ago for me, and as I said I saw Abdullah plead guilty a while ago. I'm conscious that this isn't the end of the story, for me anyway and I hope something positive will come out of all this.
Guardian got the story wrong, as I said Attila pleaded guilty a while ago.
The Sun got it wrong, Ahmet didn't run the stall with Hamid, that was Muktar Said Ibrahim.
BBC News report on Atilla
Tampon teabag's reaction to Atilla's song
Speakers corner is crazy eh. Very weird symptom of democracy. I've often had the feeling that if it were my choice I'd see the country run from there. I've yet to see how Hamid is going to defend himself so I'll reserve judgment if that is OK as he was always alright with me.
Do you know if anyone has film of him from there?
I think you're right about reserving judgement. On reflection I think I’m going to try and keep an open mind (innocent until proven guilty). It’s somewhat difficult for me as I have known him for some time; privy to his warped views and his defence of what many would deem the indefensible.
I must say Speaker’ Corner on Sunday (14 October 2007) was quite fun with the “regulars” divided into Hamid is innocent camp and some of us who think he’s guilty already. Each camp brought the weeks news cuttings of Hamid et al. One thing we all agreed on was that he often came across as being ‘not all there’.
Like I said, you’re right re reserving judgement and I should suppress my prejudices and let justice take its course (as he’s still innocent despite my gut feeling that he’s guilty of something).
That's fair enough mate. I can't tell if he just says incredibly stupid things to undercover cops or if he is an actual terrorist myself. Its certainly been interesting watching some of the people who have met him giving evidence.
I didn't think of all the people who knew him down speakers corner. I'll try and get down sunday to film you all. We can do "Trial by speakers corner".
Bring the press cuttings.
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