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Welling-born preacher Anjem Choudary convicted of encouraging support for IS

PUBLISHED: 17:10 16 August 2016 | UPDATED: 17:11 16 August 2016

Radical preacher Anjem Choudary

Radical preacher Anjem Choudary

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The 49-year-old faces a lengthy jail term following the verdict

Welling-born preacher Anjem Choudary is facing a lengthy prison sentence after being convicted of encouraging support for Islamic State (IS) following a trial at the Old Bailey.

The 49-year-old is believed to have been a recruiter and radicaliser for years but managed to avoid being arrested despite widespread knowledge of his influence on terrorists.

He has been closely linked to another banned extremist organisation, Al Muhajiroun (ALM), which is thought 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.

Choudary was found guilty along with co-defendant Mohammad Mizanur Rahman on July 28 and could face ten years behind bars.

The investigation into the pair’s actions involved sifting through 20 years-worth of material, including 333 electronic devices containing 12.1 terabytes of storage data.

After IS was established in 2014, Choudary and Rahman were called to provide advice to Muslims in the UK and to pledge their support to IS.

The men pledged their allegiance to IS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at a meeting in July 2014, when they contacted Mohammed Fachry, a convicted terrorist, in Indonesia via Skype, text and phone.

Fachry then published this oath, having been signed off by Choudary, on an Indonesian website.

Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “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 IS.

Choudary and Rahman were arrested by officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command on September 25, 2014.

“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,” Commander Haydon continued.

“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 September 6.

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