A British Muslim radical has been permanently banned from France as the country steps up security before the introduction of a nationwide burka ban tomorrow.
Anjem Choudary, head of the outlawed Islam4UK which advocates Sharia law, was turned back as he tried to join an illegal protest in Paris on Saturday. Officials served Mr Choudary with a legal notice informing him that the French Interior Ministry was banning him permanently.
Abu Izzadeen and Omar Bakri, both also controversial figures based in Britain, both tried to get to the event but were stopped by police.
It eventually saw 61 people arrested, including 19 women wearing veils and an illegal immigrant who was carrying an offensive weapon.
France is on a high state of alert after Al Qaeda issued warnings that it would attack the country following the introduction of the ban, which imposes fines of £130 and 'civic duty' guidance to women caught wearing Islamic veils.
In October Jacques Myard, a senior member of President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling UMP party who helped introduce the burka ban in France, said Britain was 'losing the battle against Islamic extremism' and thus 'opened the door to terrorism'.
Mr Myard said he was shocked at the way radicals like Mr Choudary and Mr Bakri were allowed to make comments attacking British soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
Mr Choudary, 43, is a former solicitor who ran the outlawed Islam4UK group and who has appeared in court in Britain for organising marches.
He has frequently praised the terrorists who organised the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. and the 7/7 bombings in London.
He formed the group Al-Muhajiroun with Mr Bakri, 52, who became known as the 'Tottenham Ayatollah' because of his praise of extremism.
Mr Izzadeen, 34, is British spokesman for Al Ghurabaa, a Muslim group banned under the Terrorism Act 2006 for its glorification of violence.
Another man, Fouad Belkacem of the Sharia4Belgium group, was also arrested in Paris yesterday.
France is the second country in Europe, after Belgium, to introduce a full ban on a garment which immigration minister Eric Besson called a 'walking coffin'.
The rigorous new law, which was passed last October, makes it an offence to wear face coverings in 'public places'.
Exceptions include crash helmets and ski masks, with the government making it clear that garments favoured by Muslim women are the principal target of the legislation.
Al Qaeda has already issued warnings against France for introducing the law....