ANJEM Choudary, the Islamist hate preacher is to be released from jail in a matter of weeks, despite a stark warning from the prisons minister that he remained “genuinely dangerous.”
Choudary, 51 from Ilford, east London, was leader of proscribed terrorist organisation al-Muhajiroun, whose followers included the killers of British Fusilier Lee Rigby, who was murdered outside his barracks in south London in 2013.
He who was jailed in 2016 for terrorism offences, after being found guilty of encouraging Muslims to join Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) is to be released from prison next month, having only served half his five-and-a-half-year sentence.
The UK government’s prisons minister, Rory Stewart, conceded on Tuesday that they were powerless to prevent Choudary from being freed on licence, despite his assessment that the cleric remained “a genuinely dangerous person.”
Stewart told the Evening Standard that the preacher was “a deeply pernicious, destabilising influence”, adding: “He is somebody that I would put into the category I have just mentioned – somebody who was not given a sentence of enormous length but somebody who is a genuinely dangerous person.
“We will be watching him very, very carefully.”
David Videcette, the lead detective on the 7/7 London bombings investigation in 2005, said: “Every plot I ever researched – someone in it was linked to Choudary.”
Another disciple of Choudary, is Khuram Butt, who was a member of the London Bridge terror cell which murdered eight innocent bystanders in June 2017.
At the time of Choudary’s imprisonment, the preacher had been linked to 15 terror plots over the course of almost 20 years and connections to hundreds of British jihadists who went to Syria to fight.
Former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, Lord Carlile, said Choudary “knows how to play the system”, adding: “It is disturbing and worrying that he will be back on the streets.”