A British Muslim radio has “by mistake” broadcast speeches made by an Al Qaeda terrorist leader calling for holy war against non-Muslims.
Iman FM, a radio station based in Sheffield, broadcast 25 hours of lectures by Anwar Al-Awlaki, an Islamic hate preacher who was killed by a US drone strike back in 2011, MailOnline reported.
Some listeners made an official complaint to the UK radio watchdog Ofcom, leading to the suspension of the radio station’s licence.
Ofcom claims the transmitted content “amounted to a direct call to action to members of the Muslim community to prepare for and carry out violent action against non-Muslim people”.
The watchdog also said that Al-Awlaki, whose speeches were broadcast, is a known Al Qaeda leader who in the past recruited and trained terrorists.
It has been reported that his speeches calling for war against non-Muslims have inspired attacks on the staff of satirical French Charlie Hebdo magazine in 2015 and the terrorist attack at Fort Hood Texas in 2009 that murdered 13 people as a result.
The speeches were transmitted on June 14. During one lecture, Al-Awlkai urged Muslims to “Prepare whatever strength you have for holy war in the cause of Allah. This is a form of worship.”
The station now has fewer than 21 days to offer an explanation as to why it broadcast speeches by the hate preacher.
Bosses of the radio station insist they weren’t aware of the preacher’s history and added that the content wasn’t vetted before the broadcast.
“This is very, very sad because none of us had any idea this lecture was preaching hatred,” said station’s chief executive Mohammad Mughal.
“We are not just a Muslim radio station – we regularly feature Christian presenters.”
The broadcasting watchdog claims the radio station’s defence was ‘not credible”.