Boston bombing suspect signed up to Islington Muslim YouTube channel

PUBLISHED: 12:05 23 April 2013 | UPDATED: 13:03 24 April 2013

Zakir Naik, a preacher banned from the UK, features on a YouTube channel administered in Highbury subscribed to by a suspect of the Boston Marathon bombings

Zakir Naik, a preacher banned from the UK, features on a YouTube channel administered in Highbury subscribed to by a suspect of the Boston Marathon bombings


A suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings subscribed to a YouTube channel with Islington links – featuring sermons from controversial groups and figures – just weeks before he went on his alleged rampage.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the elder of two brothers suspected of the bombings, signed up to online channel Allah is the One – run by an organisation called the Merciful Servant – which is administered by 26-year-old Hasan Sarwar, of Drayton Park, Highbury.

The channel features a video which describes gays as “sodomites” in a clip apparently justifying Muslim men being allowed to take four wives.

The channel, set up in 2010, also contains footage of controversial preacher Zakir Naik, who was banned from Britain by Home Secretary Theresa May after lending support to Osama Bin Laden while declaring “every Muslim should be a terrorist”.

Clips of Hamza Tzortzis, from the Islamic Education and Research Academy – a group banned from University College London after separating men and woman at an on-campus debate – also feature on the channel.

Mr Sarwar said: “We have got many subscribers – Muslims and non-Muslims. Our message is the peace and mercy of Islam.”

He confirmed he had not been aware that Tsarnaev had signed up to the channel just two months before planting bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

The online channel posted a new video following the American bombings entitled Dear Boston From London, in which it states “killings of non Muslims and Muslims is completely wrong”.

Last week the channel’s motif was changed from a masked mujaheddin warrior to a dove-like logo.

Tsarnaev is thought to have become radicalised after watching online sermons of extreme clerics before allegedly planting bombs at the Boston Marathon last week with his younger 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr Sarwar was a student at Highgate School and Queen Mary University of London.

He was also a former fundraising and event manager at Haringey Council and is now a director at Clerkenwell-based Fur Elise Media Ltd.

Zakir Naik, Tzortzis and the North West-London-based Islamic Education and Research Academy have always said publicly they condemn violence.

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