News just in from the Central Criminal Court Old Bailey. From Court News UK,
Hate preacher Anjem Choudary and his disciple Mizanur Rahman each jailed for 5.5 years for inviting support for Isis
Chant of Allah Akbar from the public gallery as Choudary sent down
Mr Justice Holroyde labelled the Islamist "calculating" and said his speeches would have influenced followers to commit acts of terrorism.
"You indirectly encouraged violent terrorist activity", he said. "You were perfectly content with that consequence of your words. It is very likely a significant proportion of those who listened would be impressionable, people looking to you for guidance on how to act and ready to do what you said was necessary."
Choudary's lieutenant, Mohammad Mizanur Rahman, 33, was convicted alongside him and also received a five-and-a-half-year prison term.
"In differing ways I regard both of you as dangerous, you have showed no remorse at all for anything you have said and done, and I have no doubt you will continue to communicate or message whenever you can", said the judge. "You knowingly crossed the line between legitimate expression of your own views and criminal acts of inviting support for an organisation which was at the time engaged in appalling acts of terrorism."
He said the evidence proved both men are "strongly supportive of ISIS", telling them: "You are free to hold and express personal views but the right of freedom of expression is not absolute." The judge said both men gave speeches to "impressionable" audiences.
He said Rahman was a "hot-head", and both men are "mature and intelligent", adding: "Anjem Choudary you are more calculated."
Choudary looked repeatedly to the public gallery during sentencing, and cry of "Allahu Akhbar" rang out from his supporters as he was led away.
Following the convictions, Commander Dean Haydon, head of Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command, said: "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 organisations.
Five and a half years is not nearly enough for his treachery. He'll be a big hero in prison and be out before we know it.
Readers may like to read my article on Choudary and radicalization in prisons, which went up on the Gatestone Institute site this morning: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8873/prisons-radical-islam
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