UK charges Muslim preacher Anjem Choudary with ‘terror’ offences

The London-born Muslim preacher was arrested in London along with Canadian Khaled Hussein last week, British police say.

British Muslim preacher Anjem Choudary has been charged with three offences after being arrested in London last week, police said on Monday.

Choudary, 56, has been charged with membership of a proscribed organisation, directing an organisation and addressing meetings to encourage support for a proscribed organisation, police said.

A 28-year-old Canadian man, Khaled Hussein, has also been charged with membership of a proscribed organisation after being arrested on the same day as Choudary when he arrived on a flight at Heathrow Airport, police said.

Once Britain’s most high-profile Muslim preachers, London-born Choudary was imprisoned in Britain in 2016 for encouraging support for the ISIL (ISIS) armed group before being released in 2018 after serving half of his five-years-and-a-half sentence.

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.

‘Calculating and dangerous’

Judge Timothy Holroyde said during his 2016 sentencing that Choudary was “calculating and dangerous” and had shown no remorse.

Choudary, former head of the now-banned organisation al-Muhajiroun, drew attention for praising the men responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the United States and saying he wanted to convert Buckingham Palace into a mosque.

British police previously said that 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 London street in 2013, had attended protests Choudary had organised.