Blair names key Islamist preacher he tried to deport
FORMER prime minister Tony Blair has named an Egyptian Islamist preacher living in the UK as a key influence among jihadi terrorists, nearly 20 years after he first tried to deport him.
Mr Blair has published a report linking cleric Hani al-Sibai, to 13 jihadists, including Mohammed Emwazi, also known as Jihadi John, and El Shafee Elsheikh, another of Isil’s so-called “Beatles”, as well as Seifeddine Rezgui, who opened fire on tourists on a beach in Tunisia in 2015, killing 38 people.
The Blair report claims Sibai, who lives in Hammersmith, west London, “appeared on TV stations including Al Jazeera on the day after the 7/7 bombings, expressing his support for 9/11.”
Sibai has denied being linked to terrorism or influencing British jihadists.
Birnberg Peirce, Sibai’s solicitors, said he “totally denied” the suggestion that he had radicalised Mohammed Emwasi.
“To the best of his knowledge, he never met him, and does not understand how this suggestion can ever have arisen,” said Birnberg Peirce.
“Mr al-Sibai has already set out in detail his reasons for considering that the actions of Emwazi and Islamic State are not consistent with Islamic teaching.
“Mr al-Sibai also denies radicalising El Shafee Elsheikh, just as he denies any connection to Seifeddine Rezgui.
“Mr al-Sibai has for some considerable time been on record through repeated public statements, as condemning Islamic state and their actions. He asks we repeat his condemnation of the killing of innocent people wherever this occurs in the world.”