Extremist Preacher Anjem Choudary Finally Convicted

IS Supporter and Sharia Law Advocate found guilty after 20 years

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Anjem Choudary

Anjem Choudary has finally been convitced after a unanimous verdict found him guilty of rallying support for IS and promoting violence via social media and YouTube. Scotland Yard believes the terror preacher can be linked to almost every major terror plot in the past few years. He is also thought to have helped recruit over 800 Briton to join IS.

It was almost 20 years ago that Choudary, from East London, was first linked to multiple terror groups. However, he was never convicted due to the protection of freedom of speech laws. Before his conviction, the father of five told Sky News ‘If you look at my speeches, I have said the same thing for 20 years. For me, it is a matter of worship.

“If you cannot say when you believe in something and you cannot share that view, then you don’t really have freedom to express yourself in this country.”

No matter how inflammatory, the law was unable touch him despite some of his worst speeches. After 9/11, he praised Obama at a news conference. He refused to condemn the 7/7 bombings. Choudary claimed murdered soldier Lee Rigby would burn in hell, supporting murderer Michael Adebelajo instead. He has even advocated for Sharia Law to be adopted in the UK and called for an end to democracy.

Choudary once made calls for the Queen to adopt traditional Islamic dress, “When Sharia law is implemented, maybe in 10 or 15 years’ time, she would be expected like all women in Britain to be covered from head to toe, only revealing her face and hands.”

Choudary was arrested in 2014 during a series of police raids. It then took Scotland Yard a gruelling two years to investigate the 49-year-old before finding enough evidence to convict him. The solicitor, who well understood UK freedom of speech laws, had managed to avoid conviction by not actively supporting terrorism and instead just voicing support for them.

However it was then found that Choudary, as well as five others, had sworn allegiance to the IS leader, a crucial fact for the jury.

Commander Dean Haydon, head of the counter-terrorism command at Met said the pledge was “the key piece of evidence that tipped him over the line for a terrorist offence.”

Siddharta Dhar, his key lieutenant, was also arrested but has since skipped bail and fled to Syria. He is believed to have replaced ‘Jihadi John’ Mohammed Emwazi, as IS’s executioner in chief.

UK law’s have been thrown into question given it took two decades to finally convict a known hate preacher. The Labour chair of the Home Affairs Committee, Keith Vaz, said “it is deeply worrying to see the extent of his activities. While congratulating the police in bringing this case to a successful conclusion we now need to look again at the law to ensure that it allows no gaps that permit preachers of hate to undertake their activities under the cloak of freedom of speech exercised in a democracy.

“In future we need to show zero tolerance to those who act and behave in this way.”

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