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The Suicide Factory: Abu Hamza and the Finsbury Park Mosque [Paperback]

Sean O'Neill , Daniel McGrory
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Oct 2010

Two veteran journalists tell the inside story of convicted hate-monger Abu Hamza, his infamous Finsbury Park Mosque and how it turned out a generation of militants willing to die – and kill – for their cause…

In the heightened atmosphere following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Mostafa Kemal Mostafa, aka. Abu Hamza al-Masri, was a gift to tabloid newspapers. His prosthetic hook hand, glass eye and rabid pronouncements as imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque made him the very image of a bogeyman, easily caricatured and ultimately dismissed by intelligence analysts who judged him offensive, but essentially foolish. They were wrong.

In this chilling investigation, senior news journalists Daniel McGrory and Sean O’Neill reveal that the imam recently convicted for inciting murder and racial hatred not only indoctrinated vulnerable young Muslims into a firebrand version of Islam, but supported Taliban leaders, had direct contact with al-Qaeda and recommended recruits for terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Under Abu Hamza's leadership, the north London mosque became a place where young zealots were taught hand-to-hand combat, the use of knives, how to dismantle and reassemble firearms and surveillance techniques. Amongst the extremists who looked to Abu Hamza for leadership were Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called twentieth hijacker from the attacks of 9/11, and Mohammed Sidique Khan, the ringleader of the 7 July London bombings.

Using the account of an inside informant, the jail diary of a former recruit, security records and recollections of followers and associates of the imam, the authors dig behind the notoriety Abu Hamza has been content to foster for the real story of a larger-than-life man who has lied repeatedly about his background, his first (bigamous) marriage to an Englishwoman and even the cause of his famous injuries. Even more alarmingly, they reveal how British security forces for years allowed the Egyptian’s training ground to thrive, turning a blind eye to the dangers of home-grown extremism and permitting some of the most fanatical elements from around the world to establish London as their base…

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; (Reissue) edition (4 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007234694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007234691
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 524,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'...the reporting is impressive and hugely entertaining.' -- The Spectator

'the straightest account [of] our dimwitted and wildly ill-considered attempt over the engage with and exploit radical Islam.' -- The Sunday Times

About the Author

Daniel McGrory and Sean O'Neill are senior news journalists with The Times.

McGrory has reported on the rise of Islamist terrorism for a decade. He is an award-winning journalist and was one of the first British reporters to identify the threat posed by radical clerics granted political asylum in Britain.

O'Neill joined The Times from the Daily Telegraph, where he focussed on al-Qaeda after years reporting on the IRA. He was the first reporter to document how al-Qaeda used London as a base and has covered all the major terrorist trials in the UK since 2001.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 25 Dec 2006
This is a superbly written book by two Times newspaper journalists who have clearly researched their chosen topic.

The story tells of Abu Hamza's arrival to Britain as a young Egyptian fascinated (and fully indulgent in) by the hedonistic lifestyle of the West, and his journey to becoming like a mafia don in his ruling of the Finsbury Park mosque using violence and crime to fund his 'jihad'.

The book discusses how the media lapped up Hamza as a 'baddie' without realising just how instrumental this man was in organising terrorism and brainwashing young men to fight in Kashmir, Chechnya, and Algeria.

The story also reveals lapses of part of Britain's security services, and also leads to worries as to many other Muslim clerics are raising money and helping to facilitate terror abroad and in this country.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PC Plod vs. Global Jihad 18 Jan 2007
This book is a wonderful although depressing antidote to those that wish to believe that the UK Government knows what it is doing in the fight against Global Jihad.

In essence, this is the story so far, of Abu Hamza (of the hooked hands) and his establishment of a terrorist base right in the middle of north London at the Finsbury Park Mosque. It tells how he got into the UK through deception and how he used British rights and the welfare state to facilitate and fund his enterprise. The book demonstrates how the British authorities knew what Hamza was doing but were hamstrung by a learnt `respect' for Islam and a belief that Hamza was just another crazy foreigner (like Marx) who had no plans for disruptive activities in the UK. They had no concept of the notion of local action as part of global Jihad. Indeed, it was only well after the attacks of 9/11 that the Americans, frustrated with the UK Government inactivity, requested that Hamza be extradited to stand trial in the US. Astonishingly it was in Hamzas defence that the UK authorities began their own prosecution as a means of preventing his trial in the US!

Naturally, Scotland Yard made sure it used only shoeless Moslem police officers to raid the Finsbury Park Mosque.

The joy of this book is less in the overall story, which is quite well known, than in the detailed depiction of the UK authorities utter incompetence in dealing with the obvious threat. It is a very good read and it is very well and clearly written. Is it great literature? I'm not sure, but it certainly is great journalism.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener - Read it 27 Aug 2006
I would recommend this book for any one with an interest in the politics of terrorism and jihad.

It made fascinating reading and gives much information on the background of Abu Hamza and his breed of fanatical radicalism.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Excellent read, informative and interesting, a book you can pick up and put down - really good food for thought.. contains some scary information that will really make you think about the way the British Government has turned a blind eye to things going on under their nose.
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