First Rough Draft of History on British Jihad. This FRDH podcast from the archives was reported and recorded a year before the 7/7 London bombings. It gives as close a glimpse into the workings and mindset of young Europeans, many born in Europe and the UK, not immigrants, who are drawn to jihad.

2004 was a time when jihadi activity in the UK was out in the open, if you knew where to look. I attended the teaching circle of radical preacher Omar Bakri Muhammad. I met with his followers and acolytes and interviewed them, as well as Omar Bakri himself.

Bakri sang songs of praise for the 9/11 hijackers. He preached martyrdom as the highest goal for a Muslim. He will shake your belief in absolute freedom of speech.

When the London bombings occurred the following year, it was revealed that the bombers had all attended Bakri’s lessons.  Bakri himself fled to Lebanon. Yet his influence remains.  Another young man I saw at the teaching circle was one of the men who murdered Lee Rigby in 2013.

This FRDH podcast was originally broadcast on public radio in the US. It won the prestigious Lowell Thomas Award for outstanding radio reporting from the Overseas Press Club of America.

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