London, Sept. 7 (PTI): An extremist British Islamic group linked to suicide bombings overseas is planning to hold a conference in London on September 11 in praise of “the magnificent nineteen”, the hijackers who killed more than 3,000 people in the US on that day two years ago.
The controversial conference, which hundreds of young British Muslims are expected to attend, is being closely monitored by police and security officials. The conference has been organised by the al-Muhajiroun group, which was investigated by police after senior figures admitted that they acted as ‘spiritual advisers’ to two British suicide bombers who died in Israel earlier this year.
Fly posters for the conference display the faces of the 19 hijackers along with a religious verse stating that the men “were youth who believed in their lord”.
Moderate Muslim groups have condemned the conference. “September 11 was an abhorrent crime. Any activity that targets civilians is abhorrent,” said a spokesperson for the Muslim Association of Britain.
Omar Bakri Mohammed, the north London-based self-styled ‘emir’ of al-Muhajiroun, has, however, denied the meeting was a celebration of September 11.
“It is an exploration of the causes of the event,” he said. Bakri Mohammed has previously praised the two British suicide bombers who, he admitted, had attended al-Muhajiroun meetings. “These two brothers have drawn a diving road map...in blood,” he was reported to have said.