Stoke-on-Trent mosque leader Kamran Hussain guilty of encouraging terrorism and supporting Islamic State
Radical preacher Kamran Hussain has been convicted of supporting the Islamic State terror group and encouraging terrorism - with sermons from his Stoke-on-Trent mosque.
An undercover law enforcement officer recorded the 40-year-old's radical sermons from the Tunstall High Street mosque over a four-month period last year.
He told children that martyrdom was better than anything they would achieve at school, encouraged terrorism and supported the terror group in Syria.
After being arrested Hussain, of Knightsbridge Way, Tunstall, claimed he was exercising his right to freedom of speech.
But a jury this afternoon convicted the defendant of six charges of encouraging terrorism and two counts of supporting IS.
In his Friday lunchtime speeches in front of around 40 worshippers, often including children aged under 15, Hussain told them:
Martyrdom was the 'supreme success and greater than any other success such as school or college';
Martyrs had nothing to fear when 'you go in front of Allah with the bullet wounds and the sword wounds and you are raised in that situation with the blood still coming from your body';
The English Defence League was funded by the British Government to 'insult' Muslims and put them down;
IS is a 'small fledgling state standing in the face of a pompous and arrogant army';
Neither the 'Queen nor Prime Minister' could stand in the way of the law of Allah.
The Old Bailey heard Hussain was handed a 14-month jail term in 2008 after perverting the course of justice at Stafford Crown Court. He will be sentenced for these latest offences on Thursday.
As he was led down from the dock, a supporter called down from the public gallery 'see you soon'. Hussain smiled and replied "inshallah" - God willing.
Following today's conviction, Mari Reid, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Kamran Hussain was in a position of trust and authority which he abused by encouraging support for Daesh and glorifying violent extremism.
"His audience included children, some as young as 10, who would have heard him say killing others or being killed themselves was more desirable than doing well in school.
"We were able to take the jury through his dangerous sermons and show how they went beyond ordinary speech and amounted to support for terrorism."