“The Old Bailey heard Choudary was an influential ideologue who had tens of thousands of followers on social media. He publicised his oath at a crucial time just as Isil had launched its self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria and many people were looking for guidance on its legitimacy.
Choudary’s influence was so strong that Siddhartha Dhar, who is later believed to have succeeded ‘Jihadi John’ as Isil executioner, asked him for a “verdict” on the caliphate, saying his words “would be gold on Twitter”.”
Mr Justice Holroyde (left) and Anjem Choudary (right)
By Ben Farmer and
Kate McCann, Senior Political Correspondent
6 September 2016 • 10:00pm
A senior judge has challenged Islamist extremists who live on benefits while claiming to “despise” Western democracy, as he sentenced hate preacher Anjem Choudary to five-and-half years in prison.
Choudary has lived on benefits in the UK for the past 20 years, during which time it is understood he has claimed up to £500,000 from the state.
While living off the state – dubbing his benefits ‘Jihadiseekers’ Allowance’ – Choudary became one of the country’s most notorious radical preachers – professing hatred against the West.
But he managed to avoid a criminal conviction until he was charged last year with drumming up support for a terrorist organisation by pledging allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (Isil).
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