A HAMAS chief is reportedly living in a London council house despite previously “running terror operations in the West Bank”.
Fugitive Muhammad Qassem Sawalha is reportedly living in a London council house despite previously ‘running terror operations in the West Bank’Getty
GettySawalha was born in Tubas, West Bank, but arrived in the UK from Jordan in the early nineties as a fugitive[/caption]
Considered Hamas’s “representative in the UK”, Sawalha’s discount was £500 short of the maximum allowed through Right To Buy.
He and wife Sawsan, 56, live mortgage free in the Colindale house, which has a garden and garage, The Sunday Times reports.
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Sawalha, 62, was born in Tubas, West Bank, but arrived in the UK from Jordan in the early nineties as a fugitive.
He previously fled Israel after helping Hamas establish a terror presence in his homeland during the late 80s.
He evaded Israeli security services using a relative’s passport.
Despite his activities, he was granted a British passport in the early Noughties and handed a council house in 2003.
A 2004 US probe revealed he was holding secret talks in the UK about “revitalising” terrorism in Israel.
He was also laundering cash to fund militants in Gaza and the West Bank, he was known to MI5.
In 2006, BBC Panorama said the terror nut “masterminded much of Hamas’ political and military strategy”.
He has continued to represent Hamas in Moscow and even met Jeremy Corbyn in 2015 before he became Labour leader.
In 2019, Sawalha became director of Finsbury Park mosque, once led by infamous hook-handed Islamist hate preacher Abu Hamza.
UK Lawyers for Israel, a campaign group, told Barnet Council of Sawalha’s background in 2020.
Met counter terror cops were informed but no action was taken to bar Sawalha from the property.
The force said: “It was determined that the evidential test was not met.”
Sawlha assumed ownership of his home in 2021, he is believed to split his time between London and Istanbul in Turkey.
He may have dodged offences because the UK designated Hamas’s military wing as a terrorist group, but not its political wing.
The whole group was designated a terror group in 2021.
Sawalha has never been charged with crimes in the UK.
Barnet Council leader, Barry Rawlings, said he was “horrified to think [Sawalha] could be living in our midst” and has launched a review.
Sawalha’s lawyers told The Sunday Times: “Mr Sawalha is a law-abiding British citizen.”