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Jury Testifies Anjem Choudary Took Over Leadership of Terrorist Group in Leader’s Absence

Radical Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary is currently on trial at Woolwich Crown Court on charges of being a member of the proscribed organisation al-Muhajiroun.

During the trial in Woolwich, London, it was revealed that Choudary took over the leadership of al-Muhajiroun after its previous spiritual leader was imprisoned in Lebanon. Choudary resumed his position at the head of the organization following his release from prison for supporting ISIS.

Choudary, aged 57, denies being a member of a proscribed organization, addressing meetings to promote support for the group, and directing a terrorist organization. His co-defendant, Khaled Hussein, 29, from Edmonton, Canada, also denies being a member of al-Muhajiroun.

The prosecutor, Tom Little, KC, told the jury that Choudary filled the leadership void within al-Muhajiroun while the spiritual leader was incarcerated in Lebanon. Choudary was released from prison related to the ISIS offense on Oct. 19, 2018, and was on probation until July 18, 2021.

Little stated that despite the restrictions placed on Choudary during his probation, he continued to promote the terrorist organization. Covert recordings from Choudary’s home in Ilford, east London, were presented as evidence, indicating his involvement with al-Muhajiroun and terrorist activities.

The trial revealed that Choudary directed the group for a significant period starting in 2014 and also addressed online meetings of the Islamic Thinkers Society, described as ALM’s branch in the United States.

ALM’s ‘US Branch’ Infiltrated by Law Enforcement

The Islamic Thinkers Society in New York, part of the same terrorist organization, was infiltrated by undercover operatives from U.S. law enforcement agencies. These operatives attended various classes and lectures given by Choudary and recorded the sessions, which were later shared with counter-terrorism officers in the Metropolitan Police.

The prosecutor detailed the history of al-Muhajiroun, including its various name changes to evade detection and bans by the UK government. Little also mentioned individuals influenced by the organization, including those involved in violent acts like the murder of soldier Lee Rigby.

Sought to ‘Foist a Warped and Twisted View of Religion’ on Others

Little emphasized the organization’s covert nature and its efforts to avoid detection by law enforcement. He stated that Choudary and Hussein were supporters of the group’s extremist ideology, willing to carry out tasks as instructed by Choudary.

Both defendants have pleaded not guilty, and the trial is expected to last for at least six weeks, with the defense set to present their case later in the trial.

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