Omar Bakri Muhammad is the mentor of Anjem Choudhury.
He was interviewed by American journalist, Ron Suskind for his book, The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an age of Extremism.
This quote is taken from pg. 200-202:
Ron Suskind: "But there's a hidden dimension to it all, which I glimpsed when we (author and Bakri) chatted in the hotel lobby two years back. A British intelligence officer told me that Bakri had helped MI5 on several of its investigations....After Bakri finished one of his long explanations...I mentioned his secret assistance to police. He became flustered. "I'm upset you know this," he said grimly, as one of his deputies looked on from a distance. Of course, such a disclosure would have undermined his credibility among young radical jihadists, his constituency. I asked, then why do it, why help the police? He paused. "Because I like it here ," he said. "My family's here. I like the health benefits..."
“...A few months later, the July 7, 2005...and all such backdoor arrangements were off... (he went to Lebanon, although Suskind mistakenly says Libya)
On the phone...He says the British government, "whether they admit it or not," misses him, too."We were able to control the Muslim youth," he says on the grainy mobile phone connection from Tripoli. "The radical preacher that allows a venting of a point of view is preventing violence. Now many of us are gone or in jail, and we've been replaced by radical jihadis, who take the youth underground. You don't see them until the day they vent with the bombs."
Bakri enoyed his notoriety and was willing to pay for it with information he passed to the police...It's a fabric of subtle interlocking needs: the Brits need be in a backchannel conversation with someone working the steam valve of Muslim anger; Bakri needs health insurance."
Thank you and good night Vienna!