Notorious hate preacher Anjem Choudary, who was jailed for five and half years in 2016 for his actions to support Islamic State, has been released on licence after serving half of his sentence.
Choudary was jailed in 2016 for five and a half years for urging people to support proscribed terror organisation Islamic State in a series of YouTube videos. He served half of his sentence before being released.
Credit: Flickr Sinister Dexter
Choudary, 51, will serve the remaining half of his sentence outside of prison under strict supervision. He must comply with approximately 20 licence conditions that have been put in place. Any breach of the conditions means he risks returning to prison.
It’s understood that he will be placed in a probation hostel for six months. Some of the licence conditions imposed on Choudary include being banned from preaching at or attending certain mosques as well as associating with individuals who have not been approved by the authorities. He is also unable to use an internet enabled device without permission, his internet use will be closely monitored, and he cannot travel outside of the M25
Choudary will be expected to maintain good behaviour and have regular visits and meetings with probation officers. He is also prohibited from travelling outside of the UK without permission. These requirements are standard licence conditions.
Earlier this week, Choudary’s banking assets were frozen after he was added to a United Nations Security Council sanctions list for known terrorists.
It’s believed that Choudary’s licence conditions are some of the strictest imposed on a British citizen.
The Prime Minister has placed her confidence in the relevant authorities to ensure Choudary meets the terms of his licence.
At a press conference in Brussels, May said: “On the question of Anjem Choudary, obviously he’s an extremist preacher. He pledged his allegiance to Daesh. He was convicted of inviting support for them.
“If and when any terrorist offender is released, well-rehearsed plans are put in place to keep the public safe. The police, the prison, the probation service and other agencies have a range of powers available to them. They also have significant experience in dealing with such offenders.
“This includes the setting of strict licence conditions, such as restrictions on movement and internet access and stringent curfews, the breach of which could result in immediate recall to prison.”
Why is Choudary so Dangerous?
Credit: Matt Brown Wikimedia Commons
Choudary is considered to have played a key role in radicalising a number of individuals who became involved in terrorism and travelled to Syria and Iraq to support Islamic State.
Terrorists including Khurum Bhutt, one of the three men who carried out the London Bridge attack in 2017, Michael Adebajalo who murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby in 2013, and Islamic State militant and alleged executioner Siddhartha Dhar, are all believed to have been influenced by Choudary.
Choudary was head of the extremist Al-Muhajiroun group in Britain. The group was listed as a proscribed terror organisation in 2010, and in 2015 terrorism expert Raffaella Pantucci estimated the group was linked to half of the terror attacks to have taken place in in Britain since 1995
At the time of Choudary’s conviction, the head of counter-terrorism Commander Dean Haydon described him as ‘spokesman for the extremists’.
Hayden said: “We have watched Choudary developing a media career as spokesman for the extremists, saying the most distasteful of comments, but without crossing the criminal threshold.
Their recent speeches and the oath of allegiance were a turning point for the police: at last we had the evidence that they had stepped over the line and we could prove they were actively encouraging support of Isis.”