London, Apr 26 (ANI): Hate radical Islamist preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed has boasted that he used thousands of pounds of British cash to set himself up in a luxury Lebanese apartment.
The Muslim cleric, who lived in the UK for 20 years before being banned for preaching hate, used backdated incapacity benefits to buy his plush flat in Beirut.
Speaking to the Daily Star at his latest Lebanon home in Tripoli, Bakri insists that he and fellow radicals including Anjem Choudary are justified in taking our state handouts because Britain has "plundered" and "colonised" Muslim countries around the world.
Bakri, 49, bragged: "They used to condemn me in the UK for claiming benefits but you take what is available like everyone else. The UK made me a bogeyman so I could not work."
"One day I was at the doctor's and he said, 'You are disabled because of your leg. You should be claiming incapacity benefit. Why are you not claiming?' I did not even know this was the case. Then, when I got to the benefits office, they told me I was owed arrears since the 1990s so they backdated the payments for me," he said.
"They did not give me the cash but they told me to choose a car so I could get around. So I chose the best one, a Renault Espace.
"Then, when I came to the Lebanon in 2005, I sold the car and used the money to buy an apartment."
Bakri laughed: "The exchange rate was so good then - about two dollars to the pound. I got around $55,000 (£28,000 in 2005) from selling the car."
Unrepentant Bakri has now moved into a second flat in the northern city of Tripoli - because he says Beirut is not Islamic enough for him. He shares the apartment with his second wife, Ruba, 30. (ANI)