Islamist hate preacher Anjem Choudary kicked off Instagram

For hate preacher Anjem Choudary, freedom has been especially sweet since he was released from Belmarsh prison in 2018 after serving half of a lengthy prison sentence for inciting support for Islamic State.

Despite severe restrictions on his movements – he has been electronically tagged and effectively gagged – he has since been spotted around 11 p.m.

And just weeks ago, his ban on public speaking was lifted for the North London resident.

The ban on his accounts by major social media companies will be a setback for him to reach his following, but he has other ways to spread his message, such as sending essays promoting Sharia to a network of WhatsApp contacts. .

For hate preacher Anjem Choudary, freedom has been especially sweet since he was released from Belmarsh prison in 2018 after serving half of a lengthy prison sentence for inciting support for Islamic State.

For hate preacher Anjem Choudary, freedom has been especially sweet since he was released from Belmarsh prison in 2018 after serving half of a lengthy prison sentence for inciting support for Islamic State.

Yet many will find it deeply insulting that this disgraced Islamist, who co-founded Britain’s jihadist network al-Muhajiroun and is an outspoken proponent of terrorism at home and abroad, is once again roaming the streets of the capital.

Security experts have told the Mail that Choudary’s presence in public provides support for supporters of his despicable ideology.

Choudary now lives with his wife Rubana Akhtar, 43, and their five children. Akhtar has been investigated for promoting extremism, but the investigations were halted in September 2019. Their household is of course supported by generous benefits.

There is concern that Choudary’s new visibility is rekindling interest in his banned jihadist network al-Muhajiroun (meaning the emigrants).

In recent years, this deadly group has been disrupted by arrests and counter-terrorism laws, but it is feared that it is now rebuilding itself and splitting into smaller cells that meet in secret.

Hope Not Hate chief executive Nick Lowles, who has monitored Islamist and far-right groups for years, warns that al-Muhajiroun, while exhausted, remains “Britain’s most prolific and dangerous extremist group.”

However, all of this is a world away from Choudary’s previous incarnation as a merry student at Southampton University. Then he was known as ‘Andy’ and was a smoking and beer-drinking womanizer.

He radicalized after meeting Syrian cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed at a mosque in Woolwich, south-east London. He was Bakri’s lieutenant and helped found al-Muhajiroun in 1996.

The group gained worldwide fame in 2002 when it advertised “The Magnificent 19,” a conference convened to celebrate the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and honor those who carried them out.

Choudary would eventually succeed Bakri as leader when the latter left Britain for Lebanon in the wake of the 7 July 2005 London bombings, which killed 56 people. (The leader of the 7/7 attacks, Mohammad Sidique Khan, was linked to al-Muhajiroun.) Bakri now languishes in prison in Lebanon after his arrest in 2010.

Banned in 2006, Al-Muhajiroun has simply mutated over the years and adopted new names to stay one step ahead of the authorities.

According to American academic Michael Kenney, author of The Islamic State In Britain, it has adopted 181 different identities in the UK and abroad.

Choudary has avoided arrest for years, despite his open sympathy for extremism and his links to terrorists, and was convicted in 2016 at the Old Bailey for swearing an oath of allegiance to the Islamic State. It was the culmination of a police investigation that spanned 20 years of material, 333 electronic devices and 12 terabytes of data.

Professor Kenney, who believes that Choudary’s hardcore supporters can be numbered in the dozens, says: ‘He doesn’t want to go back to prison. These people are very careful if they are licensed. But it will be interesting to see what will happen in the summer of 2021 [when the licence expires].’

In the UK, more than 25,000 people are said to have been radicalized, of whom 3,000 to 4,000 are under surveillance. Returning jihadists add enormously to this burden.

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