A German hate preacher has been living in the UK for almost five years – despite being the leader of a banned Islamist group that is accused of inspiring 140 jihadis to join terror groups abroad.
Since then, the 41-year-old has spent his time proselytising in cities across Britain and using social media to promote extremist views.
Belkaid’s presence in the country will raise questions about Theresa May‘s judgement – who was Home Secretary at the time of his arrival.
Brahim Belkaid (right) settled in Leicester in late 2013 after returning from Syria, where authorities suspect him of providing support to terrorists
Revelations about Belkaid come following investigations by Der Spiegel magazine in Germany and by the Sunday Times.
He first came to the attention of authorities as the leader of Die Wahre Religion (The True Religion).
The organisation seeks to convert people to Islam by handing out free copies of the Koran in Germany and other countries in Europe.
However, the group also gives away texts about Salafism, a hardline version of Islam, according to the Times.
Belkaid began travelling to a region in Syria that was controlled by revels linked to Al-Qaeda in 2013, the newspaper reports.
Although the claimed to be delivering aid, he also reportedly urged others to follow him by saying: ‘Allah loves those who fight in his cause.’
His trips to Syria led to German authorities keeping a close eye on him, an informed source said, according to the Times.
This prompted him to move to the UK at the end of 2013.
A car parts firm was founded in January 2014 that listed him as the sole director, registered to an address in Leicester, according to the Times.
But Belkaid reportedly spent much of his time preaching at ‘dawah stalls’ across the country, including in London and Coventry.
He was pictured handing out hardline scripture to fans celebrating Leicester City’s Premier League victory in 2016.
Six months later, Germany banned DWR claiming the group had helped inspire 140 fighters to leave Germany to join terror organisations in Iraq and Syria, including ISIS.
German police carried out 200 raids in a bid to seize the group’s assets.
The German banning order cited Belkaid as the leader of the DWR and cited his sermons as evidence of the group’s rejection of democracy and the rule of law.
The group is not banned in the UK.
However, according to the Times, police raided a residence linked to Belkaid in Leicester at the behest of the German authorities in early 2017.
It came shortly after the German federal prosecutor’s office announced an investigation into Belkaid’s activities in Syria.
They alleged that he was using aid convoys to support an off-shoot of Al-Qaeda called Jabhat al-Nusra. Belkaid reportedly denies the allegations.
No arrests were made but the probe remains open.
Meanwhile, Belkaid has also continued to use social media – including Facebook and YouTube – to spread extremist views.
In one post, he poses with a grin next to a foreign washing powder brand called ‘ISIS.’
Another Facebook post features a sword, bullets and the words: ‘Jihad: the Only Solution.’