Radical preacher Anjem Choudary faces terror trial in May 2024
UK-born Choudary has been associated with different radical outfits
FILE PHOTO: Radical cleric Anjem Choudary is seen leaving a probation hostel in London on October 19, 2018 following his release from prison. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
A radical Islamist preacher with dual British and Pakistani nationality charged with three terrorism-related offences will face a trial in May next year, a UK court ruled on Friday (4).
Anjem Choudary, 56, was arrested at his home in east London by the Metropolitan Police last month and charged with membership of a proscribed (banned) organisation, addressing meetings to encourage support for a proscribed organisation, and directing a terrorist organisation under different sections of the UK’s Terrorism Act 2000.
He appeared before the Old Bailey court in London via a videolink on Friday, when a provisional trial date was set for May 20.
A Canadian national, 28-year-old Khaled Hussein, who was also arrested in a related counter-terrorism inquiry on charges of membership of a proscribed organisation will also face trial next year.
Both men were remanded into custody to appear before Kingston Crown Court on January 5, 2024.
“On Monday, July 17, Met counter-terrorism detectives investigating alleged membership of a proscribed organisation arrested a 56-year-old man in east London and a 28-year-old Canadian national at Heathrow Airport, after he arrived on a flight,” the Met Police had said in a statement at the time of charging the suspects last month.
“They were held under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and detectives were granted warrants of further detention allowing them to detain the men until Monday, July 24,” the statement added.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told the court at the time that Choudary spoke online to weekly small groups from June 2022 until his arrest, giving lectures on the establishment of an Islamic State in Britain. Co-accused Hussein is said to have effectively worked for Choudary in Canada.
“The charges relate to the proscribed organisation Al Muhajiroun, also known as the Islamic Thinkers Society. Criminal proceedings against Choudary and Hussein are now active and they each have the right to a fair trial,” said Nick Price, from the CPS counter terrorism division.
“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings. The function of the CPS is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for a criminal court to consider,” he said.
UK-born Choudary has been associated with different radical outfits, including the now-banned Islamist group Al Muhajiroun.
He was released from London’s high-security Belmarsh prison back in 2018 where he was held after being convicted by the Old Bailey court in London in September 2016 for radical preaching and calling on Muslims to support the terrorist group the daesh.