A Saudi cleric and poet has praised Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler for "barbecuing the Russians and the Jews" in a controversial video.

Muhammad al-Farraj recited a poem in which he slams the Russians for their support to Syrian embattled president Bashar al-Assad on Arab satellite channel Shahada TV.

Moscow, along with Assad, is responsible "for every drop of blood spilled" in Syria, according to the cleric, who also pours his hatred to Iran, another ally of the Syrian regime.

"All those barrel bombs, Mig fighters, and Scud missiles, which destroy entire populated neighbourhoods - where did they come from? From those Russians," he said.

"The Russians are no longer courageous fighters, but are as despicable as arses," al-Farraj added. "Adolf Hitler had a blessed way of burning you, oh rotting nation [...]If I were allowed to pray for a non-Muslim, I would have prayed for the soul of the Nazi leader, who barbecued you and the Jews through and through with gasoline."

The cleric also praised the rebel groups of mujahidin in Afghanistan who fought against the Russians and referred to al-Qaida deceased leader Osama bin Laden as "a big knife piercing their hearts" like a ghost.

"Our youth learned to fight using fresh Russian flesh," he said. "They shed rivers of their filthy blood in Hindu Kush and the mountaintops of the Caucasus".

The video was aired on Shahada TV on 19 September.

Al-Farraj is a lawyer, an orator at Al-Rawdah mosque in Riyadh, and formerly a lecturer at Imam Muhammad Bin-Sa'ud Islamic University. He was reportedly influenced by the Afghani jihad and senior scholars of the Salafi movement. Following the second Gulf war, he became one of the leaders of the Islamic Awakening movement.

The cleric has been arrested in 1995 for participating in an attack against a Saudi security officer and in 1999 for publishing a poem lauding extremist clerics. He was arrested again in 2006 after leading a gathering of Islamist radicals who stormed the stage of a local play discussing the issue of religious extremism in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Farraj is the cousin of Fahd al-Juwayr Al-Farraj, who was identified as the former leader of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Muhammad al-Farraj
The Saudi cleric praising Hitler in a controversial video