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The radical Muslim cleric, Omar Bakri Mohammad, who was sentenced to life in prison by a military court in Lebanon has reportedly asked for the help of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday to save him from jail.

According to observers the cleric may have been impressed with the way the Iranian backed militant group has helped others escape justice . Hezbollah bodyguards invaded the Beirut airport last September in order to receive former General Security chief Jamil as-Sayyed who is wanted by the Lebanese judiciary. Sayyed was taken to the VIP launch of Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport without the needed permission from the ministry of Foreign affairs and was later taken home under heavy security.

Bakri, a radical Sunni who has praised the September 11, 2001 attacks describing the hijackers as the “magnificent 19”, was sentenced to life in prison by a Lebanese military court on Thursday.

Bakri, was found guilty — along with more than 40 other Lebanese, Palestinian and Saudi citizens — of charges that include inciting murder and belonging to an armed faction, capping a trial that had opened three years ago.

He lived in the UK for nearly 20 years after seeking political asylum in 1986 and being granted indefinite leave to remain. He ran the radical Islamist group, al-Muhajiroun, from north London until it was disbanded in 2004.

Speaking to New TV, Bakri repeated his claim that he is innocent .

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