For years, from the sanctuary of his Finsbury Park Mosque in London, Abu Hamza preached hatred and violence to thousands of vulnerable and impressionable young men until his detention and imprisonment earlier this year. Those men were sent to their deaths in countless conflicts around the world while others languish in prisons, serving sentences for everything from murder to terror attacks. 

This exhaustively researched book by The Times correspondents Sean O'Neill and Daniel McGrory outlines the many times that the British authorities had opportunity to deport Hamza or bring him to justice, but didn't.

The authors point out that many died on faraway battlefield, in conflicts they knew little about. They also add that, since Hamza's jailing, many more young men have dropped out of sight, but not necessarily out of action.

Foreign governments wanted an eye kept on him but the British didn't play ball and appeared to let Hamza go about his business with impunity - apparently not seeing him as a threat, despite knowing full well what went on at his Friday sermons. Indeed, such was the British inaction, at one stage the French planned to lift Hamza off the street and take him to Paris, a plot that never materialised.

What they were very rightly concerned about were those sermons, where Hamza urged and encouraged young men to do many things, including memorise the Koran to fighting 'Jihad' or holy war. Hamza's 'Lieutenants' were told to keep a watch out for those who would suitable for 'special training' - the phrase used for brainwashing the more gullible or fanatical into signing up for Jihad training. 

'The Suicide Factory' is a fascinating read that makes the reader wonder if enough is being done to combat terror. Hamza was convicted this year of racial hatred and inciting murder. Clearly, he should have been stopped and imprisoned a lot sooner.

Mark O'Neill-Cummins