Hate preachers jailed for backing Isis and 'encouraging terrorism' by young Muslims
PUBLISHED: 15:31 06 September 2016 | UPDATED: 15:31 06 September 2016
Mizanur Rahman and Hate preacher Anjem Choudary have both been jailed for five-and-a-half years by the Old Bailey today for drumming up support for Isis.
Their supporters in the public gallery shouted “Allahu Akbar” as Rahman, a 33-year-old from of Sidney Street in Whitechapel, was sentenced with Choudary, 49, in the dock.
They were found guilty of inviting support for Isis between June 2014 and the following March in talks posted on YouTube.
Choudary’s supporters included Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale who murdered soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich two years ago.
The offences were serious given their influence over impressionable people at a crucial time when Muslims were looking for guidance, the judge said.
Mr Justice Holroyde told Choudary: “You did nothing to condemn any aspect of what Isis was doing. You indirectly encouraged violent terrorist activity.”
He described Rahman as a “hothead” while Choudary was more “calculating” and the more experienced.
Both men were dangerous and had shown no remorse.
“You are both mature and intelligent men who knew throughout exactly what you were doing,” the judge added. “You are both fluent and persuasive speakers.”
Earlier former solicitor refused to stand up in the dock as his sentencing hearing began.
Choudary has “done his best to stay within the law”, his lawyer told the court. He believed he was still within the law, but on reflection “would have done things differently” had he known the boundaries of the law.
The father-of-five has lived off benefits and never accepted payments for his speeches, the court heard.
The lawyer argued that there was no evidence that anyone had acted on Choudary’s speeches with “murderous violence” in the limited time he had broken the law.
Choudary had recognised a caliphate — a symbolic Islamic state — created by the Isis and was a leader figure in the banned extremist group al-Muhajiroun, but stayed on “the right side of the law” for 20 years before investigators were able to pin him down.
The hate preacher was a key force in radicalising young Muslims and had been the mouthpiece of Omar Bakri Mohammed, founder of al-Muhajiroun.
Police pounced after Choudary and three others lent their names to an “oath of allegiance” to IS which was posted on the internet.
Rahman’s name appeared on the oath in July, 2014, which stated the Muhajiroun had “affirmed” the legitimacy of the “proclaimed Islamic Caliphate State”.