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X Factor put on terror alert

Cheryl Cole
London (ANI): The X Factor was put on terror alert after Islamist militant leader Omar Bakri claimed that it was an anti-Muslim show, because it had released a charity single for injured British troops. Bakri, 50, also hit out at Muslims who gave out or wore the Help For Heroes wristbands, or who were selling the show's charity single Hero, scheduled for release on October 27.

After the ranting, anti-terror cops were in talks with the show's producers to boost security at Fountain Studios in Wembley, North London, where the X Factor is filmed. "Producers have spoken to CID and anti-terrorism officers about the potential threat level, it's being taken very seriously," the Sun quoted a source as saying.

The preventive measures were decided upon after Bakri made claims that even watching the X Factor on TV was a 'form of hatred'. "Some Muslims in Birmingham are wearing the armbands in support of British troops in Afghanistan. This is a form of muadaat (hatred) of the kuffar (non-believers) against the Muslims . . . and it has dangerous implications," he said.

"Some people may find excuses for those people, ignorance and so on. If after three days, if they continue, you are barred from these people and their deeds. Even watching the show, those people are committing a form, a type, of muadaat (hatred). And that action is a form of kufr (non-belief)," he added.

The security checks at the X Factor studios has changed dramatically, with plans for X-ray scans and a police presence on October 25, when finalists will perform the single. "We called in officers from Scotland Yard because of genuine safety fears. We are in the process of discussing extra security measures for Saturday night's live show," a source said.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We are aware of the recording and it will be assessed to see if any offences have been committed." And Tory MP and security expert Patrick Mercer stated that it was the Lebanese Government that needed to handle Bakri.

"The Lebanese authorities know Omar Bakri's poison is directly helping international terrorism," he said. "I have no doubts that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office should apply pressure on the Lebanese to shut him up, because that's what he needs," he added.

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