LONDON – An outspoken Islamic activist who once heckled a senior British lawmaker on live television was convicted Thursday of fundraising for terrorists and inciting terrorism overseas.
Abu Izzadeen, a 32-year-old electrician, was convicted by a jury at a London court. He will be sentenced on Friday.
A former spokesman for a Muslim group now outlawed in Britain, Izzadeen is best known for heckling the then-Home Secretary John Reid at a community center in 2006.
As Reid urged Muslim families to intervene if they feared their children were at risk of being radicalized, Izzadeen accused Britain of state terrorism and called the minister a tyrant.
However, Izzadeen's offenses related to inflammatory speeches in 2004 — as U.S. troops battled insurgents in the Iraqi city of Fallujah — and remarks in the aftermath of the 2005 subway and bus bombings in London that killed 52 commuters and four suicide bombers.
He called "for volunteers to join in the fight against coalition troops," and for Muslims to offer money to insurgents overseas, prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw told the court.
"The speeches became progressively more emotive and inflammatory, and insulting in their tone," he said.
Izzadeen, who was born in Britain to Christian parents of Jamaican origin, converted to Islam at the age of 17. He also is known as Omar Brooks or Trevor Brooks.
In a 2005 British Broadcasting Corp. TV interview, he said the bus and subway bombings were a consequence of Britain's refusal to accept a cease-fire offer from Osama bin Laden.
Five other men also were convicted on similar charges, including Abdul Muhid, already in prison for soliciting murder at a 2006 protest over the publication of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad.