Two men have been convicted of encouraging support for the proscribed terrorist organisation Islamic State.
Anjem Choudary and Mohammed Mizanur Rahman were found guilty on 28 July following a trial at the Old Bailey.
Reporting restrictions were put in place in relation to these convictions – restrictions were lifted on Tuesday (16 August).
Choudary, aged 49, of Hampton Road, Ilford and Rahman, aged 33, of North Circular Road, Palmers Green were both found guilty of the following offence:
– Between 29 June 2014 and 6 March 2015 invited support for a proscribed terrorist organisation, namely ISIL, also known as ISIS or the Islamic State, contrary to section 12 Terrorism Act 2000.
Choudary and Rahman are believed to have been recruiters and radicalisers for over 20 years and have been closely associated with another proscribed organisation Al Muhajiroun [ALM]. ALM is believed to be the driving force behind a number of people who later committed terrorist attacks including the 7/7 bombers and Lee Rigby’s murderers.
When it was announced that an ‘Islamic State’ had been established in 2014, Choudary and Rahman were called to provide advice to Muslims in the UK and to pledge their support to ISIS.
At a meeting in a restaurant on the 2 July 2014, during which Choudary and Rahman contacted Mohammed Fachry, a convicted terrorist, in Indonesia via Skype, text and phone, the pair pledged their allegiance to ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Fachry then published this oath, having been signed off by Choudary, on an Indonesian website.
Choudary and Rahman were arrested by officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command on 25 September 2014.
Commander Dean Haydon, Head of the MPS 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.
“During the course of the investigation 20 years worth of material was considered, with over 333 electronic devices containing 12.1 terabytes of storage data assessed and evidence identified to support the prosecution case at court. Our well established international contacts ensured that we were able to obtain key evidence from the Indonesian authorities to prove that Choudary and Rahman were key in the publication of their oath of allegiance.
“This has been a significant prosecution in our fight against terrorism and we will now be working with communities to ensure that they are not replaced by others spreading hate.
“Communities defeat terrorism, which is why we must maintain the strong relationship between the public and police. We depend on information from the public, who can be our eyes and ears, in our efforts to keep us all safe.
“We advise the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour or activity to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 – in an emergency always call 999.”
Choudary and Rahman will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on 6 September.