UK radio broadcasted Al Qaeda recruiter’s speeches calling for ‘holy war’ for 25 hours

A Muslim radio station from Sheffield that broadcast 25 hours of sermons by an al-Qaeda recruiter during Ramadan has been suspended. “Iman FM” played a series of lectures by Anwar Al-Awlaki, an influential cleric called “the Bin Laden of the internet” before he was killed by a US missile drone strike in Yemen in 2011, The Independent reports.

His sermons are thought to have inspired terrorist attacks including the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris in 2015 in which 12 people died and the 2009 Fort Hood shootings, in which 13 US soldiers were killed. Awlaki was killed in a US drone strike in 2011.

British radio watchdog Ofcom stated that “lectures encouraged violence and religious hatred,” but “Imam FM”  told Ofcom ‘it was not aware of Awlaki’s background.’

The lectures included violent speeches calling for the holy war:

“Prepare whatever strength you have for Jihad fi Sabilillah [holy war in the cause of Allah]. This is a form of worship, it is just like praying, fasting or paying the Zakaat [charity] it is Ibaada [worship]. So if Jihad is fardh [compulsory], then preparation [for Jihad] becomes fardh as well, so this Ghazu5 was equivalent to worshipping Allah with training, this was hands on military training”.

and

“Not all battles are played out on the battlefield, sometimes clandestine special operations are needed to inflict harm on the enemies of Allah”.