Anjem Choudary, the former pot smoking recreational drug user turned radical Islamic cleric living in the United Kingdom, was found guilty and convicted of supporting Islamic State among other terrorism charges that were brought against Choudary. For more than 20 years, British counter-terrorism officials have been trying to bring Choudary to justice along with the organizations he helped run in order to radicalize young men and women.
It was in 2013 that British counterterrorism officials were finally able to build a case against Choudary worthy for trial based on his swearing allegiance to Islamic State publicly, which in turn, Choudary vocally promoted and invited others to support the terrorist group and its ideologies. The court heard testimony that in March 2013, Choudary was implicit that he wanted Muslims to “dominate the whole world” and was quoted as saying,
“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’.”
Choudary supporters includes:
- Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, the murderers of British Army soldier Lee Rigby
- Suspected IS executioner Siddhartha Dhar
- Omar Sharif, a British suicide bomber who attacked Tel Aviv in 2003
- Brusthom Ziamani, jailed 12 years later for planning to kill in the streets of London
Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met Police’s counter-terrorism unit, said of Choudary’s (and Rahman’s) conviction,
“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 organizations. 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.“
Sue Hemming, head of counter-terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said the men
“[K]nowingly sought to legitimize a terrorist organization and encouraged others to support it. They used the power of social media to attempt to influence those who are susceptible to these types of messages, which might include the young or vulnerable (Choudary’s Twitter account is still up despite requests for its removal in August last year and again in March).”
Choudary (and Rahman) will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on 06 September.