Notorious jihad preacher Anjem Choudary was sentenced Tuesday along with his co-defendant Mohammed Mizanur Rahman for promoting support to the Islamic State. Both influenced people to support terrorist attacks for years without breaking the law. But after Choudary pledge allegiance to ISIS in 2014, he was linked to the recruitment of several Britons in Iraq and Syria, for which Choudary will stay over five years in prison.
Anjem Choudary, 49, and a former lawyer was sentenced to five years and six months after two decades of preaching for extremist groups. The police could not link the man to inciting violence, and Choudary could continue his campaign, until now.
Choudary was convicted at the Old Bailey two years after he backed ISIS in an oath of allegiance published online. The judge described Choudary as calculating and dangerous, according to the BBC. Additionally, he is also known as “the most hated man” in the U.K. His co-defendant, Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, 33, received the same sentenced.
But that is not all. After both men leave prison, they are obliged to a notification order lasting 15 years, which means Choudary and Rahman have to notify the police about certain aspects of their life, such as changing address. The men were declared guilty of “inviting support for a proscribed organization,” ISIS, which is an offense contrary to section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Choudary denied the charges.
British authorities linked the infamous preacher to the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, where more than 800 Britons have traveled. Police cannot tell how he influenced many of the 850, but they have said Choudary is an essential figure in ISIS’s recruitment drive.
Commander Dean Haydon, of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, stated Choudary and Rahman have stayed just within the law for many years. Choudary has been under the loupe over two decades, but authorities could not charge him. It was impossible to connect him with inciting violence until 2014.
Haydon continued and said no one within the counter-terrorism world has any doubts of the influence that they have had. Their messages of hate have spread, and they have encouraged people to join terrorist organizations.
After IS had declared a caliphate in the summer of 2014, both Choudary and Rahman urged people to support the terrorist group, also known as Daesh, to which the former lawyer also pledge allegiance. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.
A series of ways to convince people to help ISIS without being arrested
Anjem Choudary, of Ilford, east London, has said he is not a danger to the public nor the U.K., saying he posed an ideological or political threat, he told CNN in 2014. But Choudary has been linked to the radicalization of a string of the terrorists who have stood trial in the U.K. over the past 15 years.
Sue Hemming, head of the counter-terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said Choudary and Rahman were acutely aware that Daesh is a proscribed terrorist group responsible for brutal activities and that what they were doing was illegal.
Choudary stated once that sometimes propaganda and the verbal jihad is even stronger than the jihad of the sword. And he has done his preaching, but strictly in the U.K. He has not traveled to Syria because his passport has been taken away, which has not stopped him from spreading the word of the Quran in Britain. Choudary was born and raised in the U.K. where he has taken on the role of a vocal supporter of ISIS and radical Islam, although there is no such thing as a radical branch of Islam for him.
The British preacher believes there is no “radical” or a “moderate” form of Islam, putting as an example the fact that a woman is either pregnant or not pregnant. What he said was if someone is a Muslim, that someone has to follow what is in the Quran and the traditions of the prophet. And in his view, many terrorist attacks that killed thousands are justified by Islam writings.
He has stated that what happened on 9/11 or 7/7, or on 3/7 in Madrid is justified by Islam believes and insists al-Qaeda and IS are following the teachings of Islam.
“Whatever the Prophet did, do it; whatever the Prophet forbade, forbid it… the Prophet himself sent many people to assassinate others,” Choudary quoted the Quran to illustrate his view, back in 2015.
After the terrorist attack to cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo in Paris, he said the victims brought the attack on themselves for “dishonoring” the prophet Mohammed. The now prisoner of HMP Belmarsh in south east London stated if he needed to condemn, he needs to condemn the provocation. He continued and said he cannot condemn the killers when they have a juristic opinion which they are following.
Spreading the seed of radical Islam in the U.K.
Among his work, Choudary, along with Omar Bakri Muhammad, founded a radical organization called Al-Muhajiroun. The group was banned from the U.K after finding relationships between Al-Muhajiroun and al Qaeda.
He was also pictured at a protest with Michael Adebolajo, one of the men who violently murdered British soldier Lee Rigby. Rigby was hit by a car and hacked to death in London in May. And Choudary was also associated to Siddhartha Dhar, a man suspected by authorities of replacing ISIS executioner Jihadi John.
After Choudary and Rahman had been escorted out of the Old Bailey court, their supporters started shouting “Allahu Akhbar,” Arabic for “God is great.”