Radical preacher Anjem Choudary's public speaking ban to expire

18 July 2021, 07:04 | Updated: 18 July 2021, 15:15

Choudary's licence conditions are set to expire
Choudary's licence conditions are set to expire. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Radical preacher Anjem Choudary's ban on public speaking is set to be lifted as his licence conditions expire.

The extremist was jailed five years ago after being convicted of inviting support for Isis, but left Belmarsh prison after being freed automatically at his sentence's half way point in 2018.

More than 20 licence conditions on Choudary will expire on Sunday, the Press Association news agency understands.

Besides the public speaking ban, these included being prevented from contact with people who could be suspected of extremist-related offences without authorisation, restrictions on his internet and mobile phone use, a requirement to use an electronic tag and an order to follow a night-time curfew.

He has only been able to attend approved mosques, had to stay within a set area and regularly meet with probation officers.

Separately, his inclusion on a UN sanctions list has meant he was unable to travel and had his assets frozen.

Choudary's demonstrations attracted thousands of followers
Choudary's demonstrations attracted thousands of followers. Picture: Alamy

Police and MI5 are thought to have been involved in monitoring him. Choudary, from Ilford, East London, was jailed for five and a half years.

For more than 20 years, he made controversial remarks about Sharia law and accrued thousands of followers through demonstrations, lectures and social media.

The father-of-five, who is a former soilictor, was a prominent figure in the now-banned group al-Muhajiroun (ALM).

A senior security source told the PA news agency: "Disruptive measures - including jail terms and licence conditions - have had a substantial impact on the ability of ALM to propagate their toxic ideology.

"While the group cynically preys on vulnerable individuals, its spokespeople have hidden behind their cult-like status while encouraging others to commit acts of violence.

"The group breeds on propaganda, and should be starved of the oxygen of publicity it relies on to spread hatred."

Choudary was jailed for inviting support for Isis
Choudary was jailed for inviting support for Isis. Picture: Alamy

Choudary had long been viewed as a radicalising influence but managed to stay on the right side of the law until his conviction.

There is no suggestion Choudary organised attacks, but Michael Adebolajo, one of Fusilier Lee Rigby's murderers, and Khuram Butt, the ringleader of the London Bridge terror attack, were linked to ALM.

Usman Khan, who carried out the Fishmongers' Hall attack and killed two people, was interested in Choudary's views as a teenager and Lewis Ludlow, the Muslim convert who planned a terror attack on Oxford Street in London, had attended one of his and ALM's demonstrations.

It has not been confirmed if counter-terror police and MI5 will keep tracking Choudary, or if they consider him a person of interest.

In other cases, security services and the police have made use of different measures available to them, such as Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (Tpims).

The strict monitoring tool can be used on people thought to be involved in terrorism or to present a threat but cannot be prosecuted or deported.

These can be put in place for up to two years.