Anjem Choudary is found guilty of inviting support for Daesh/ISIL (Photo: Snapperjack/Flickr/Creative Commons)
Anjem Choudary has been convicted at the Old Bailey for inciting support for Daesh. The 49-year old was convicted last month alongside Mohammed Rahman, 33, after the court heard evidence from YouTube videos of his lectures in which he encouraged people to pledge allegiance to the proscribed organisation.
Both men were arrested in September 2014 under suspicion of being members of Daesh. They have each been charged with one offence under section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000, alleged to have taken place between 29 June 2014 and 6 March 2015. The pair face up to 10 years in jail and will be sentenced on September 6.
Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan police’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.
“Over and over again we have seen people on trial for the most serious offences who have attended lectures or speeches given by these men. The oath of allegiance was a turning point for the police – at last we had the evidence that they had stepped over the line and we could prove they supported Isis.”
Choudary and Rahman posted speeches on YouTube encouraging support for Daesh. In one clip entitled “How Muslims Assess the Legitimacy of the Caliphate”, Choudary begins by setting out his views about the requirements of a legitimate Islamic caliphate, then explains why he sees Daesh as meeting the criteria.
20 years’ worth of material was also considered in the investigation, with 333 electronic devices containing 12.1 terabytes of storage data assessed.
Sue Hemming, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) head of counter terrorism, said: “These two men knowingly sought to legitimise a terrorist organisation and encouraged others to support it. They used the power of social media to attempt to influence those who are susceptible to these types of messages, which might include the young or vulnerable.
“Both men were fully aware that Daesh is a proscribed terrorist group, the brutal activities they are carrying out and that what they were doing was illegal. Terrorism can have no place in our society and those that encourage others to join such organisations will be prosecuted.”