British-Pakistani Islamic Preacher Anjem Choudary Charged With Terror Offences

Abhay Rathore

Jul 25, 2023, 12:42 PM | Updated 12:43 PM IST

Islam4UK Spokesman Anjem Choudary (C) in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Islam4UK Spokesman Anjem Choudary (C) in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Anjem Choudary, a British-Pakistani Islamist preacher, appeared in court in London on Monday (24 July) over charges of terror offences.

Choudary is facing charges of running a terror group called l-Muhajiroun, which has been connected to multiple terror attacks and aims to establish an Islamic caliphate in Britain.

Choudary, 56, was charged on Sunday (23 July) with three counts under the terrorism act. These include directing a terrorist organisation, being a member of a banned organisation, and addressing meetings to encourage support for the organisation.

Al-Muhajiroun was banned in the UK in 2006 for glorifying terrorism and has been linked to various attacks, such as the murder of Lee Rigby and the 2017 London Bridge attack.

Siddhartha Dhar, a British-Indian terrorist, was also a member of al-Muhajiroun before joining the Islamic State terror group in Syria in 2014. It is believed that he carried out executions of hostages.

The group initially emerged in 1996 under the leadership of Syrian Islamist Omar Bakri Muhammed and has since resurfaced under different names to evade law enforcement.

Prosecutors revealed that it recently changed its name to Islamic Thinkers Society (ITS) and alleged that Choudary had been delivering weekly online lectures to small ITS groups, teaching them how to radicalise individuals and establish an Islamic state in Britain.

Choudary was born in London to parents who migrated from Pakistan-Punjab.

In a separate hearing at the same court, Khaled Hussein, a 28-year-old Canadian national, was also charged with membership of al-Muhajiroun.

Choudary was arrested by counter-terrorism detectives on 17 July during a dawn raid at his home, while Hussein was apprehended at Heathrow airport upon arriving from Canada.

Both individuals have been remanded in custody and are scheduled to appear at the Old Bailey on 4 August.

Abhay Rathore is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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