A notorious hate preacher who led a flag-burning demonstration outside the US embassy on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and voiced support for jihad has been convicted of inviting support for ISIS.
Anjem Choudary, 49, has courted controversy over two decades, skirting the edges of the law, backing extremism but with no proof of actually inciting violence. He earned the wrath of Britain’s tabloid newspapers, making him – by his own admission — the country’s “most hated man.”
In 2014, he pledged allegiance to ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, bringing him under scrutiny and leading to his arrest.
British authorities say they were able to link him to the battlefields of Iraq and Syria; UK police say they don’t know exactly how many of the 850 Britons who have traveled there were directly influenced by Choudary, but they say he is a “key” figure in ISIS’s recruitment drive.
Despite Anjem Choudary vocal support for the terrorist group, he has previously insisted he is not a danger to the public. “I don’t pose a threat to anyone in this country,” he told CNN in 2014. “I pose an ideological or political threat, definitely.”
But authorities in Britain say Choudary has been linked to the radicalization of a string of the terrorists who have stood trial in the UK over the past 15 years.