Good job, hate-preacher Anjem Choudary is off to the pokie for more than 5 years, by which time all his pals in ISIS will probably be dead.
A senior judge has challenged Islamist extremists who live on benefits while claiming to “despise” Western democracy, as he sentenced hate preacher Anjem Choudary to five-and-half years in prison.
Choudary has lived on benefits in the UK for the past 20 years, during which time it is understood he has claimed up to £500,000 from the state.
While living off the state – dubbing his benefits ‘Jihadiseekers’ Allowance’ – Choudary became one of the country’s most notorious radical preachers – professing hatred against the West.
But he managed to avoid a criminal conviction until he was charged last year with drumming up support for a terrorist organisation by pledging allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (Isil).
On Tuesday he was sentenced alongside fellow radical Islamist Mohammed Mizanur Rahman after both being convicted of inviting support for the terrorist group.
Before sentencing them, Mr Justice Holroyde heard that the pair were both living off benefits.
After hearing Mr Rahman’s lawyer speak, the judge asked: “Is it not an anathema to be funded by the liberal Western democracy he so adamantly despises?”
MPs have now called for the Home Secretary to be given powers to block hate preachers from receiving benefits.
What a good idea.
A former work and pensions secretary also spoke of his frustration at being unable to deprive terrorist suspects of state benefits.
The Old Bailey heard a “calculating” and “dangerous” Choudary had published an oath of allegiance to Isil knowing it was likely to encourage his vulnerable or fanatical followers to commit terrorist attacks.
Mr Justice Holroyde dismissed regret from the 49 year-old, saying he “knew exactly what he was doing”.
The judge said Choudary had invited support for Isil while it was “engaged in appalling acts of terrorism”.
He said: “At no point did either of you say anything to condemn the violent means by which [Isil] claimed to have established a caliphate.”
The Old Bailey heard Choudary was an influential ideologue who had tens of thousands of followers on social media. He publicised his oath at a crucial time just as Isil had launched its self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria and many people were looking for guidance on its legitimacy.
Choudary’s influence was so strong that Siddhartha Dhar, who is later believed to have succeeded ‘Jihadi John’ as Isil executioner, asked him for a “verdict” on the caliphate, saying his words “would be gold on Twitter”.
Sentencing both Choudary and Rahman, 33, each to five-and-a-half years, Mr Justice Holroyde said they had shown “no remorse at all for anything you have said or done, and I have no doubt you will continue to communicate your message whenever you can”.
Their supporters in the public gallery shouted “Allahu Akbar” as the two men were led from the dock.
Of course they did. Export them back whence they came.
It’s a small win, but essentially pissing into the wind.
– The Telegraph