London, Jan 3 (ANI): Radical Islamist preacher Omar Bakri, who has been banned from Britain, is on run after Lebanese authorities issued an arrest warrant against him for giving weapons training to an extremist group called al-Qaeda Lebanon.
Lebanese security forces have issued an arrest warrant over allegations the preacher gave weapons training to an extremist group called al-Qaeda Lebanon, The Telegraph reported.
Bakri said that he had also recently been stopped from using the Internet to preach to followers in the UK.
The 50-year-old, who has been living in northern Lebanon since 2005, said that a military court, which he said had been encouraged to spy on him by British authorities, issued the warrant.
Speaking on a mobile phone from the Lebanon, he said: "I'm on the run and I am afraid I could be arrested and tortured, which is why I have gone into hiding. The warrant says that I'm suspected of training people from the al-Qaeda Lebanon group to use weapons but these allegations are completely false."
"The British government is co-operating with Lebanese military intelligence and I have become the bogeyman, a scapegoat for anything they wish to throw at me," he added.
Police have launched several raids on al-Qaeda suspects in Lebanon. Support for the terrorist network is most prevalent in Sunni strongholds in northern and southern Lebanon, particularly the area around Tripoli and Sunni villages along the border between Lebanon and Israel.
Bakri added that the Lebanese government had "no problem with me", but that he was in danger because of his stand against Hizbollah.
The extremist Muslim cleric was banned from returning to the UK when he fled his London home following the July 7 attacks. Bakri was a member of the radical extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain in the 1980s and early 1990s - and was dubbed "The Tottenham Ayatollah".
Bakri went on to become the founder of the al Muhajiroun extremist movement and caused outrage when he praised the terrorists behind the September 11 attacks in America. (ANI)