Anjem Choudary, arguably the U.K.’s most notorious Islamic extremist preacher, is facing terrorism charges for “inviting support” for the equally notorious and ultra-extreme Islamic State (IS), which is currently waging war in Syria and Iraq. Anjem Choudary has previously been accused of being a member of the organization which has been banned in Britain.
Anjem Choudary and another man, Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, face charges, but it is believed that they will plead not guilty. Also, being a lawyer in his days before becoming a radical preacher, Choudary is representing himself in court.
The Huffington Post quotes Sue Hemming, Head of Special Crime and Counter Terrorism, announcing the charges at the Crown Prosecution Service.
“Following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, we have today authorized charges against Anjem Choudary and Mohammed Mizanur Rahman… It is alleged that [the men] invited support for (IS) in individual lectures which were subsequently published online.”
Supporting IS in anyway is illegal in Britain under Section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2012, according to Sky News. It is punishable with up to 10 years in jail. A report by ITV states that after a hearing on Wednesday, Anjem Choudary and Mohammad Mizanur Rahman have been remanded in custody.
Anjem Choudary’s critics have been less than kind following his arrest in a rather Karma-like way.
Dear ISIS-enabler @anjemchoudary I see you’ve been charged under UK law with a terror offence. I bet you’re glad we won’t burn you to death.
— Maajid Nawaz (@MaajidNawaz) August 5, 2015
In what sense is the odious Anjem Choudary a “cleric”? What does the word MEAN in such a context? Is he also a “scholar”.
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) August 5, 2015
Anjem Choudary has been a thorn in the side of many Britons because he is accused by, among others, Douglas Murray in The Spectator of living off of state benefits of up to $40,000 while preaching against the very state that provides him with money.
In the past, Anjem Choudary has shocked and awed his way into newspapers and TV by praising the 9/11 attacks in New York and the 7/7 bombings in London. Choudary has also called for the implementation of Sharia Law in Britain, especially with his now banned groups like Islam4UK. He also raised eyebrows when, according to a Daily Mail report, he glorified the killers of British soldier Lee Rigby who was slaughtered in the streets of Woolwich in London and said Rigby would be going to hell because he was not a Muslim.
He does have almost 33,000 followers on twitter and a reported 37,000 on Facebook, which gives him a substantial audience, though how many of those followers tune in just to read what bizarre statements he will come out with next remains unclear. He has also become a favorite interviewee for Fox News’ Sean Hannity, who has had some intense and heated discussions with Anjem Choudary.
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