A Muslim leader has been sentenced for life after hiring a hitman to kill his rival following a dispute over the control of a controversial mosque.
Khalid Rashad, 63, a Muslim convert has been sentenced for the killing of Abdul Hadi Arwani, 48, who was discovered dead in the driver’s seat of his VW Passat in a street in Wembley, north London, last year.
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Arwani worked with Rashad in the construction business and the pair had set up the mosque together, with the former acting as imam. However, the pair had fallen out. Arwani later sued Rashad for the ownership of the building.
Investigators believe that money could have been a motive because the premises had multiplied in value since inaugurated and was said to be worth £3m to £4m.
Police identified Leslie Cooper, 38, a former soldier from Harlesden as the killer. Following his arrest Cooper first denied having anything to do with murder but a search of his home uncovered the MAC-10 with ammunition and silencer hidden inside a Marks & Spencer shopping bag which was placed inside his wardrobe
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It appeared that Cooper had been employed by Rashad, who had been involved in running of the An Noor Cultural Centre in west London for 20 years.
Previously the mosque had come under scrutiny from MI5 following a series of suspicious incidents, including a male suspected terrorist escaping from the mosque dressed in a burqa. The mosque had also introduced a number of controversial speakers.
This article originally appeared on The Guardian .