Radical Muslim preacher Anjem Choudary has finally been charged with incitement in the UK, standing accused of recruiting British Muslims in support of the Islamic State (ISIS).
British media sources noted Choudary had been “inviting support” for the vicious Islamist terror group between 29 June 2014 and 6 March 2015. He allegedly sent Facebook messages to his 32,000 followers encouraging them to join the terror group.
Choudary is a high-profile ISIS sympathizer and is the former leader of Muslim extremist group al-Muhajiroun (Arabic: “The Emigrants”). After the organization was deemed a terrorist group and banned in the UK, it rebranded under several other names, all of which were subsequently proscribed.
In the past, Choudary has managed to use his experiences as a former British law student to avoid criminal charges for his extremist involvement, but this time the charges stuck.
In September of last year, 48-year-old Choudary and a disciple, Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, 32, himself a known anti-Semitic preacher who had served prison time for incitement in the past, were arrested under suspicion of being ISIS members. According to the Gatestone Institute, Choudary was released on bail at the time while police continued their investigation. Earlier in the year, it came out that Choudary had been vetting British ISIS recruits in conjunction with another Islamist now based in Lebanon.
“Each man is charged with one offence contrary to section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000,” said Sue Hemming, head of special crime and counterterrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service.”It is alleged that Anjem Choudary and Mohammed Rahman invited support for ISIS in individual lectures which were subsequently published online.”
The charges come on the heels of Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge to crack down on terrorism and radicalization in the UK. A recent BBC poll showed 45 percent of of British Muslims believe radical preachers who promote violence against the West accurately reflect the views of mainstream Muslim opinion.
For his part, Choudary is not afraid to go to prison. According to the Gatestone Institute, he describes it as a fertile ground for gaining more converts to Islam. “If they arrest me and put me in prison…” he warned, “I will radicalize everyone in prison.”