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Mourners arrive at Lakemba mosque for Islamic funeral of slain gangster Bilal Hamze

Family members have gathered at Lakemba Mosque for the funeral of gangster Bilal Hamze – whose body was placed in a green coffin and carried into a prayer service on Wednesday.   

Hamze, the cousin of notorious Brothers 4 Life gang leader Bassam Hamzy, was shot dead in a brazen drive-by shooting in Sydney’s CBD on Thursday night after an underworld contract was placed on his head.  

The washing of his body, a traditional Muslim funeral practice, was kept strictly private at the family’s request and was monitored closely by police, including the gang-busting Raptor Squad.

In a social media post, the family said it was of ‘extreme importance’ that no mourners attended the body washing, aside from relatives.   

 Family members carry the coffin of slain gangster Bilal Hamze ahead of his funeral prayer service at Lakemba mosque

Hamze's green coffin was carried into the wash bay area of the mosque ahead of his funeral

Hamze’s green coffin was carried into the wash bay area of the mosque ahead of his funeral

Mourners in hoodies filed into Lakemba Mosque for the funeral of the slain crime boss 

Hamze, the cousin of notorious Brothers 4 Life gang leader Bassam Hamzy, was shot dead in a brazen drive-by shooting in Sydney's CBD on Thursday night after an underworld contract was placed on his head. Photo courtesy of News Corp

Hamze, the cousin of notorious Brothers 4 Life gang leader Bassam Hamzy, was shot dead in a brazen drive-by shooting in Sydney’s CBD on Thursday night after an underworld contract was placed on his head. Photo courtesy of News Corp

A steady stream luxury of cars was seen entering the mosque on Wednesday morning

A steady stream luxury of cars was seen entering the mosque on Wednesday morning

The procession from the funeral parlour to the mosque was led by a young man in a Milano Di Rouge balaclava

A heavy police presence was seen around the mosque amid fears of tensions between mourners or even retaliation

A heavy police presence was seen around the mosque amid fears of tensions between mourners or even retaliation 

Dozens of male relatives carried the crime boss’s green coffin emblazoned with Arabic writing into the mosque just after 11am.

The body will be washed and then the funeral will begin at the midday prayer service.

Hamze will then be buried in the Islamic section of Rockwood cemetery. 

Among the mourners was Ahmed Elomar, the brother of notorious ISIS terrorist Mohammed Elomar. 

Among the mourners was Ahmed Elomar (left), the brother of notorious ISIS terrorist Mohammed Elomar

Among the mourners was Ahmed Elomar (left), the brother of notorious ISIS terrorist Mohammed Elomar

Hamze was shot dead in Sydney's CBD on Thursday night after dining at a Japanese restaurant. Friends gathered on Wednesday to pay respects for the cousin of Brothers For Life founder Bassam Hamzy

Hamze was shot dead in Sydney’s CBD on Thursday night after dining at a Japanese restaurant. Friends gathered on Wednesday to pay respects for the cousin of Brothers For Life founder Bassam Hamzy

Hoodie-wearing mourners make their way into the mosque

Hoodie-wearing mourners make their way into the mosque 

Police say Hamze's execution is the result of an escalating feud between the Alameddine and Hamze clans, and underworld conflict between associates of the two families

Police say Hamze’s execution is the result of an escalating feud between the Alameddine and Hamze clans, and underworld conflict between associates of the two families

Hamze is his third close relative to die in the past 12 months. His younger brother Mejid was gunned down at his Condell Park home last October and his father Khaled died of illness in August. Pictured are mourners signing an attendance sheet at his funeral

Hamze is his third close relative to die in the past 12 months. His younger brother Mejid was gunned down at his Condell Park home last October and his father Khaled died of illness in August. Pictured are mourners signing an attendance sheet at his funeral

Hamze, who had a distinctive tear-shaped tattoo under his right eye, was walking along Bridge St after leaving trendy Japanese restaurant Kid Kyoto when up to 10 shots were fired at him from a stolen black Audi.

He died a short time later in St Vincent’s Hospital.  

Police say Hamze’s execution is the result of an escalating feud between the Alameddine and Hamze clans, and underworld conflict between associates of the two families.   

Hamze is his third close relative to die in the past 12 months. His younger brother Mejid was gunned down at his Condell Park home last October and his father Khaled died of illness in August.

Women were ushered into a separate area of the mosque ahead of the funeral

Women were ushered into a separate area of the mosque ahead of the funeral 

Relatives arriving at the mosque for the washing of Hamze's body

Relatives arriving at the mosque for the washing of Hamze’s body

The underworld boss, who had a distinctive tear-shaped tattoo under his right eye, was walking along Bridge St after leaving trendy Japanese restaurant Kid Kyoto when up to 10 shots were fired at him from a stolen black Audi

The underworld boss, who had a distinctive tear-shaped tattoo under his right eye, was walking along Bridge St after leaving trendy Japanese restaurant Kid Kyoto when up to 10 shots were fired at him from a stolen black Audi

The service at Lakemba Mosque, in Sydney's south west, comes amid police fears of trouble from the rival Alameddine clan, amid an escalating underworld conflict between associates of the two families

The service at Lakemba Mosque, in Sydney’s south west, comes amid police fears of trouble from the rival Alameddine clan, amid an escalating underworld conflict between associates of the two families

A burnt out Audi was found a few hours later in Northwood, on Sydney's lower north shore

A burnt out Audi was found a few hours later in Northwood, on Sydney’s lower north shore

Detectives from the NSW Police State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad have established Strike Force Englorie to investigate the ‘brutal execution-style murder’. 

Homicide Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said a ‘major line of inquiry’ would be whether the murder was linked to rising tensions between warring Middle Eastern crime families or the recent Operation Ironside busts last week.

‘Police were told a number of shots were fired by a per or persons … more than one person anyway, who was passing in a black vehicle,’ Superintendent Doherty said.

‘This was a brutal execution-style murder that was carried out in a busy street in the middle of Sydney CBD.’

‘It was extremely fortunate that no members of the public were injured.

‘We believe he left an establishment nearby and as he walked onto Bridge Street he was shot down in a hail of bullets.’

Criminal Groups Squad Detective Superintendent Robert Critchlow said Hamze had been warned he was a target of a rival. 

Hamze will then be buried in the Islamic section of Rockwood cemetery following the service at Lakemba Mosque

Hamze will then be buried in the Islamic section of Rockwood cemetery following the service at Lakemba Mosque

‘He has been warned that he is at risk, he has been given advice as to his safety,’ Mr Critchlow said on Friday. 

‘That advice was not received in the sense it was given. He sought to live his life the way he wanted to and made some choices.

Mr Critchlow said police were ‘certainly concerned’ and had been monitoring the situation. 

‘There are regular things that arise in the criminal space that that we act upon quietly and in a way that doesn’t attract attention and we avert a lot of these crimes,’ he said. 

‘But ultimately if a violent criminal group wishes to use violence towards another person to achieve their own goals, they will do it. 

‘What we do now is gather the evidence and lock them up.’

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