Choudary jailed for en­cour­ag­ing ISIL sup­port

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

A UK court has sen­tenced Bri­tish cleric An­jem Choudary to five-and-a-half years in prison for invit­ing sup­port for the Is­lamic State of Iraq and Le­vant (ISIL) group.

Choudary (49), was sen­tenced yesterday at London’s Old Bai­ley court, fol­low­ing an ear­lier con­vic­tion of us­ing on­line lec­tures and mes­sages to en­cour­age sup­port for ISIL, also known as ISIS.

ISIL has been pro­scribed as a “ter­ror­ist group” in Bri­tain since June 2014, mak­ing invit­ing sup­port for the group a crim­i­nal of­fence pun­ish­able by up to 10 years in prison.

London-born Choudary ran into trou­ble in 2014 af­ter his name ap­peared on an oath declar­ing the le­git­i­macy of the “pro­claimed Is­lamic Caliphate State”.

Choudary said the oath had been made without his knowl­edge. Sup­port­ers of the preacher and his co-de­fen­dant Mo­hammed Miza­nur Rah­man — who re­ceived the same sen­tence — shouted “Al­lahu Akbar” (God is great) from the pub­lic gallery as the judge an­nounced his de­ci­sion.

The trial heard the pair also used speeches to urge sup­port for ISIL af­ter it de­clared a caliphate in the sum­mer of 2014.

Judge Ti­mothy Hol­royde said Choudary was “cal­cu­lat­ing and danger­ous” and had shown no re­morse. Dressed in a white robe, Choudary showed no emo­tion as the sen­tence was passed.

Choudary is the for­mer head in Bri­tain of Is­lam4UK or al-Muha­jiroun, a now banned group

UK police pre­vi­ously said the group was sus­pected of be­ing the driv­ing force be­hind the 2005 London bomb­ings while Michael Ade­bo­lajo, one of the men who hacked to death Bri­tish sol­dier Lee Rigby on a street in the UK cap­i­tal in 2013, had at­tended protests Choudary had or­gan­ised.

The in­flu­ence of the group, which was co-founded by Syr­ian-born cleric Omar Bakri Muham­mad and called for Is­lamic law in Bri­tain, is said to ex­tend far be­yond the UK. — Al­jazeera.

Mr An­jem Choudary

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