If he’s not in solitary, his time behind bars will be spent recruiting more jihadists. Source: Anjem Choudary convicted of supporting Islamic State | UK news | The Guardian
Anjem Choudary, one of the most notorious [MUSLIM] hate preachers living in Britain, is facing jail after being found guilty of supporting Islamic State.
Having avoided arrest for years despite his apparent sympathy for extremism and links to some of Britain’s most notorious terrorists, Choudary was convicted at the Old Bailey after jurors heard he had sworn an oath of allegiance to Isis.
The 49-year-old, who has links to one of Lee Rigby’s killers, Michael Adebolajo, and the Islamist militant Omar Bakri Muhammad, also urged followers to support Isis in a series of talks broadcast on YouTube.
Choudary and his co-defendant, Mohammed Rahman, 33, told their supporters to obey Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Isis leader, who is also known as a caliph, and travel to Syria to support Isis or “the caliphate”, the court heard.
They were convicted in July but details of the trial, including the verdict, could not be reported until now.
Choudary and Rahman face up to 10 years in jail for inviting support for a proscribed organisation. They will be sentenced on 6 September at the Old Bailey.
Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan police’s counter-terrorism command, 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.
“Over and over again we have seen people on trial for the most serious offences who have attended lectures or speeches given by these men. The oath of allegiance was a turning point for the police – at last we had the evidence that they had stepped over the line and we could prove they supported Isis.”
Haydon said 20 years’ worth of material was considered in the investigation, with 333 electronic devices containing 12.1 terabytes of storage data assessed.
It can now also be revealed that Choudary was encouraged to support Isis by a notorious British Isis fighter who fled to Syria while on police bail.
The court heard that shortly after Isis was proscribed as a terror group Choudary was in contact with an individual named as Subject A. It can now be revealed Subject A was Siddartha Dhar – known on social media as Abu Rumaysah – who was arrested alongside Choudary before he fled to Syria to fight with Isis while on police bail.
Dhar encouraged Choudary to express support for Isis on social media. Following on from Dhar’s encouragement, both defendants made their position on the newly declared caliphate clear in the “oath of allegiance”.
Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC said: “The prosecution case is that whichever name is used, the evidence is quite clear: when these defendants were inviting support for an Islamic state or caliphate they were referring to the one declared in Syria and its environs by Ibrahim [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi at the end of June 2014.
“Terrorist organisations thrive and grow because people support them and that is what this case is about. Do not confuse that with the right of people to follow the religion of their choice or to proclaim support for a caliphate.”
Choudary, who has a long history with groups involved in radical Islamist demonstrations, such as the now-banned al-Muhajiroun and Islam4UK, denied he was inviting support for Isis and claimed to be a “lecturer in sharia law” giving “the Islamic perspective”.
He began studying sharia law under Syrian-born Bakri Muhammad, a Salafi Islamist militant leader who formed al-Muhajiroun with the aim of promoting sharia in the 1990s, the court heard.
Bakri Muhammad fled to Lebanon in 2005, where he was joined by Choudary for about 10 weeks. Bakri Muhammad was ultimately jailed in Lebanon for terror offences.
The prosecution also played an older lecture given by Choudary in March 2013, which did not form part of the charge but was provided to the jury for background.
In the lecture, titled Duties of the Khilafah State, Choudary makes clear his desire for the establishment of a caliphate as well as his support for the military action of Islamic State.
He said: “That is why the kuffar [non-believers] are worried, my dear Muslims. When the Muslims of the subcontinent gather together. When the Taliban inshallah [God willing] and the mujahideen take Afghanistan and then declare jihad against the mourtad of Zardini and his army of tawaghit, and when they annex and take India and they take Bangladesh and they take Indonesia, you have over a billion Muslims in the area.
“We don’t have any borders, my dear Muslims. It is about time we resumed conquering for the sake of Allah.
“Next time when your child is at school and the teacher says ‘what do you want when you grow up, what is your ambition?’, they should say to dominate the whole world by Islam, including Britain, that is my ambition.”
The prosecution told the court that the defendants were “acutely aware” of the potential criminal implications of being overt in their support for Isis.