Pakistani-origin radical preacher Anjem Choudary faces terrorism charges in UK

Prominent Pakistani-origin radical preacher Anjem Choudary and another man was on Wednesday charged by the Scotland Yard with inviting support for the dreaded Islamic State militants.

London: Prominent Pakistani-origin radical preacher Anjem Choudary and another man was on Wednesday charged by the Scotland Yard with inviting support for the dreaded Islamic State militants.

UK-born Choudary, 48, was charged along with Mohammed Rahman, 32, with inviting support for a proscribed terrorist organisation, namely Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

"It is alleged that Anjem Choudary and Mohammed Rahman invited support for ISIS (also known as ISIL) in individual lectures which were subsequently published online, said Sue Hemming, of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

"Each man is charged with one offence contrary to section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000," Hemming said.

"Criminal proceedings have now commenced and both men have a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings," he added.

Both appeared before Westminster Magistrates' Court today but details of the hearing are yet to be released.

Choudary, of Ilford in east London, and Rahman, of Whitechapel in east London, were arrested on September 25 last year on suspicion of being members of ISIL.

Proscription means membership of the militant group is a criminal offence, and that the organisation cannot lawfully operate in the UK.

Choudary is the former UK head of Islamist group Al Muhajiroun, also known as Islam4UK, which was banned in 2010. He remains a controversial figure in Britain, often appearing on news channels airing extremist views.

UK media regulator Ofcom also launched an investigation into interviews broadcast on BBC, ITV and Channel 4 with Choudary in the days following the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby on the streets of London in May 2013. 

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