OFCOM shuts down Muslim radio station over radical cleric broadcasts

Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki

A community radio station has had its licence revoked after broadcasting 25 hours of lectures by an alleged senior al Qaida figure.

Iman FM, based in Sheffield, put a series of readings by radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki on the air during Ramadan.

The station, which had been broadcasting since October 2014, had its licence suspended on July 4 and revoked by Ofcom on Thursday.

It claimed that it was not aware of the background of al-Awlaki, who was killed in a US drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

The regulator said Iman FM was "unfit" to hold a licence after displaying "extremely reckless" conduct.

Ofcom said the station had broadcast "material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder".

It said the lectures included "a direct call to action to members of the Muslim community to prepare for and carry out violent action against non-Muslim people", and "statements clearly condoning and encouraging acts of crime, terrorism or violent behaviour".

The service has been off-air since its licence was suspended and will not be reinstated, Ofcom added.