UK hate preacher Anjem Choudary nabbed in counter-terrorism operation

By
Web Desk
The father-of-five Anjem Choudary previously hit the headlines for organizing a pro-Osama bin Laden event in London in 2011. — AFP
The father-of-five Anjem Choudary previously hit the headlines for organizing a pro-Osama bin Laden event in London in 2011. — AFP

Anjem Choudary, a Pakistani-British hate preacher with a history of extremist activities, was arrested on Monday morning in London on suspicion of committing a terrorism offence, according to the police. 

The Metropolitan Police's counter-terrorism unit detained Choudary at his residence in Ilford, and he has since been under questioning in west London. The arrest was made based on allegations that Choudary was associated with a banned organisation, although the specific group has not been disclosed.

In connection with the Choudary investigation, a Canadian national was also arrested at Heathrow Airport on Monday afternoon by the counter-terrorism unit. The police have not provided further details regarding the connection between the Canadian individual and Choudary.

Both Choudary and the Canadian suspect were apprehended on suspicion of membership in a proscribed organisation, a violation of section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000. They are currently being held under section 41 of the same act at a police station in west London. The investigation is ongoing, and three addresses in east London are being searched as part of the operation.

Anjem Choudary, prominently featured in Arab News' "Preachers of Hate" series, has long been recognised as one of the UK's most notorious extremists. He has been associated with hate groups such as Al-Muhajiroun, which was banned by the British government following the 9/11 attacks in New York City and the July 7, 2005, bombings in London.

Choudary's extremist views have included praising the 9/11 attackers as "magnificent martyrs." In September 2016, he was convicted in the UK for encouraging Muslims to join Daesh (also known as ISIS) and was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison. However, he served less than half of the sentence.