UK Preacher Anjem Choudary Sentenced To Five And A Half Years For Encouraging Others To Support ISIS

U.K. preacher Anjem Choudary has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison for encouraging support of the extremist organization Islamic State.

According to NPR, the preacher’s sentence has been a long time coming, as British police knew of Choudary’s criminal activities well before he was arrested for the offenses. The reason for this, according to British authorities, was that he was too smart, as his legal background as a lawyer gave him insight on how to get around the law and thus kept him from actually breaking it.

“‘Police say he was hard to prosecute because he chose his public words carefully,’ Frank says. Choudary had been trained as a lawyer and was scrupulous about not violating British law.”

Luckily, however, U.K. preacher Anjem Choudary did slip up when he openly declared his allegiance to Isis in a published online document.

It is believed that Choudary successfully radicalized approximately 100 people, including a man who, with one other extremist, gruesomely murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby, who was a member of the British military, a few years ago.

“Among those he inspired was Michael Adebolajo, one of two militants who hacked a British soldier to death with knives and a cleaver on the streets of London in 2013.”

Choudary, dubbed by some in the media as the “hate preacher,” sparked outrage after the murder by his refusal to disavow Rigby’s death and the reason behind it.

On Tuesday, U.K. preacher Anjem Choudary was sentenced alongside Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, another Islamic extremist who preached the same message as Choudary during the time between June 29, 2014, and March 6, 2015, as reported by the Telegraph.

Supporters of the two Islamic terror advocates could be heard outside the Old Bailey courthouse chanting “Allahu Akbar,” an Arabic term meaning “God is Great,” a phrase of which many Islamic terrorists who have launched attacks have been heard yelling either before or during their attacks.

Anjem Choudary speaking out in opposition to U.K. and U.S. actions involving Libya on March 21, 2011, in London, England. [Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images]

Choudary has been interviewed by many Western news outlets in the past decade, and during these interviews, he is blatantly unapologetic regarding the carnage that his personal beliefs have caused throughout the world. He doesn’t make a secret of the fact that he vehemently believes in and continually advocates for sharia law, which he wants to be implemented on a global scale, thus making it the law of every land.

U.K. preacher Anjem Choudary has been quoted as saying, “By 2050, Britain will be a majority Muslim country. It will be the end of freedom of democracy and submission to God.”

He also believes, as dictated by Sharia law, that women should be covered from head to toe no matter their societal status, that thieves deserve to get their hands chopped off, and that vices such as alcohol and gambling need to be outlawed.

Regarding the sentencing, there are some out there who speculate that U.K. preacher Anjem Choudary will likely only spend half of his prescribed sentence behind bars. This concern has prompted Buckingham University professor Anthony Glees and radio personality Nick Ferrari to urge British authorities to review the length of Choudary’s sentence, as reported by London’s Daily Express.

Then there’s Dean Haydon, a lead counter-terrorism official of Scotland’s Yard. Regarding the ruling, he said, “These men have stayed just within the law for many years, but there is no one within the counter-terrorism world that has any doubts of the influence that they have had, the hate they have spread and the people that they have encouraged to join terrorist organisations.”

The truth is, however, that Choudary may be able to preach his beliefs behind prison walls in the same way he preached his beliefs on the outside. That is, if he’s allowed to be among the prison population.

This is a very real concern, and people like Raffaello Pantucci of the Royal United Services Institute, have voiced their concerns about the potential dangers U.K. preacher Anjem Choudary’s influence could have on other inmates. Prisons have been known to be ripe for spreading extremist views, and Choudary’s captivating personality and magnetism could make it easy for him to prey on prisoners who are psychologically and/or emotionally fractured.

The future of U.K. preacher Anjem Choudary doesn’t look as grim as some may wish, and the prospect of what he may do once his term is up haunts those who have talked to him and those who know what he’s about and what he is capable of doing.

[Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images]

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