American-Born Imam Spews Message of Hate in England

A New Jersey-born Muslim cleric with links to a suspected Al Qaeda operative who surfaced at a college not far from the cleric's Peoria, Ill., mosque the day before the Sept. 11 attacks has found a new home.

The imam now is spewing his message of hate to a growing group of followers at a mosque in Birmingham, England.

His target: the United States, the United Kingdom, Christians and Jews.

Abu Usamah at-Thahabi, who preached at the Islamic Center of Peoria in 2001, is the subject of a British news documentary that revealed Monday how he regularly exhorts worshippers at the Green Lane Masjid, or mosque, in Birmingham to hate Westerners, whom he calls "pathological liars" and "kuffar," a derogatory term for non-Muslims.

Click here to view the British news documentary.

Abu Usamah also calls for the public crucifixion of all "kuffar" and says they should be "left there to bleed to death for three days."

Abu Usamah, who was born in New Jersey and is 42 or 43 years old, was the imam in Peoria when federal agents swooped down in December 2001 and arrested Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a Qatari student at Bradley University, on charges that he used false documents to open bank accounts and was in possession of a telephone credit card used to call a number in Dubai that federal agents said was linked to reputed Al Qaeda financier and Sept. 11 organizer Mustafa al-Hawsawi.

Sources tell FOX News that Abu Usamah is a mysterious character — no one, including federal agents and fellow imams, seems to know what his name was prior to his conversion to Islam.

But sources in Peoria say that though his public teachings there were moderate, he occasionally stepped over the line into anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Just prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, he called President Bush a "pathological liar" and constantly argued to his followers that "Jews controlled the media."

Al-Hawsawi, a Saudi known as the "Al Qaeda paymaster," reportedly funneled more than $325,000 to the Sept. 11 hijackers, though the 9/11 Commission reportedly could account for only $15,000.

Al-Hawsawi was arrested in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on March 1, 2003, by a joint U.S.-Pakistani operation against suspected Al Qaeda operatives. He reportedly is being held at the U.S. Bagram airbase in Afghanistan.

Al-Marri remains in custody and is awaiting trial by a military tribunal as an enemy combatant. Among the evidence reportedly seized by federal agents was Al-Marri's computer, which contained a folder labeled "jihad arena." According to court documents, the folder contained information on hydrogen cyanide, used in chemical weapons, and the teachings of Usama Bin Laden.

The Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating Terrorism in its report said the information about hydrogen cyanide on Al-Marri's computer "far exceeds the interests of a merely curious individual." The task force report also alleges that Al-Marri was instructed by Al Qaeda to hack into the American banking system to wreak havoc on the U.S. economy.

Abu Usamah, in the days immediately after Sept. 11, asked Peoria residents not to judge the Muslim community by the actions of the terrorists who carried out the attack and thanked the local Christian community for its support.

"More faiths, different groups reached out to us," he told the Peoria Journal Star newspaper a year after the attacks.

He went on to thank "those open-minded people who judge everyone individually."

The New Jersey-born imam, who claims to have studied a strict version of Islam at the Islamic University of Medina in Saudi Arabia, has since changed his tune.

"Lying is part of their religion," Abu Usamah is heard telling his followers in the special report produced by the British news show "Dispatches" on Channel 4.

"They do whatever they want to do. They are liars, they are terrorists themselves. They are lying, you can't believe them.

"They are pathological liars," he rants.

He also is heard ticking off an enemies list that includes mainstream British culture.

"America, the U.K., Germany and France, they have come against the religion of Islam," he declares.

"Popular culture … if you're a person who gives yourself to that, your mind is going to be controlled by the so-called powers to be, who make these manmade laws."

The mosque's official Web site says its purpose is to counter Muslim stereotyping, but the Channel 4 report found there is a secret chat room area of the site that only mosque members know about, where At-Thahabi's lectures are broadcast.

It is in this chat room, the report says, that Abu Usamah preaches the creation of a "total Islamic state" that advocates harsh punishments for non-believers.

"Whoever changes his religion from Islam," he declares, "kill him, in the Islamic state."

FOX News' Edward Barnes contributed to this report.