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Radical British-Pakistani preacher charged with directing a terrorist organisation

British-Pakistani Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary appeared at Westminster magistrates’ court in London on Monday. He has been charged with running the proscribed UK terror group al-Muhajiroun, which is linked to numerous terror attacks and seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate in Britain.

On Sunday, Choudary, 56, was charged with three counts under the terrorism act: directing a terrorist organisation, membership in a banned organisation and addressing meetings to encourage support for the organisation. He was not asked to enter a plea. Al-Muhajiroun was proscribed in theUK in 2006 for glorifying terrorism. Several of its members have been implicated in terror attacks. These include the murder of Lee Rigby and the 2017 London Bridge attack.
British-Indian terrorist Siddhartha Dhar was also a member when he joined the IS terror group in Syria in 2014, where he is believed to have executed hostages. The group first emerged in 1996 led by Syrian Islamist Omar Bakri Muhammed. It has since re-emerged under various aliases to avoid law enforcement. Prosecutors told the court it had changed its name to Islamic Thinkers Society and alleged that Choudhary had been giving weekly online lectures to small groups belonging to ITS on how to radicalise people and set up an Islamic state in Britain. Choudhary was born in London to parents who migrated from Pakistan Punjab.

Khaled Hussein (28), a Canadian national, also appeared at the same court in a separate hearing where he was charged with membership of al-Muhajiroun. On July 17, Choudhary was arrested in a dawn raid at his home while Hussein was arrested at Heathrow airport after landing from Canada. Both men were remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on August 4.


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