Anjem Choudary and nine other men were arrested today as part of an investigation into “Islamist terrorism.”
The men, who were all seized in London, were arrested on suspicion of being members of, or supporting, a banned organisation, the Metropolitan Police said. Al-Muhajiroun is understood to be the banned organisation in question, sources told the Press Association.
Counter-terrorism police searched 18 addresses across London, and one in Stoke on Trent, and the searches are ongoing.
Scotland Yard said the men, who are aged between 22 and 51, were arrested as “part of an ongoing investigation into Islamist related terrorism and are not in response to any immediate public safety risk”.
Choudary has been a vocal supporter of jihadi groups and has expressed a desire to go and live in the newly established “Islamic State.”
He has been on the fringes of the British Muslim community for years and many have been perplexed at the amount of coverage the mainstream media gives him.
Many Muslims also feel that his incendiary rhetoric feeds into the Islamophobic narrative and have expressed surprise that he has not been arrested before.
Choudary was previously a solicitor and served as the chairman of the Society of Muslim Lawyers, and, until it was proscribed, as the spokesman for Islamist group, Islam4UK.
With Omar Bakri Mohammad he helped form the Islamist organisation, al-Muhajiroun. The group organised several anti-Western demonstrations, including a banned protest march in London for which Choudary was summonsed to appear in court. Al-Muhajiroun was disbanded following the UK government’s decision to ban it.
A critic of the UK’s involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Choudary praised those responsible for the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks. He supports the implementation of Sharia law throughout the UK and receives little support from mainstream UK Muslims.
He is thought to be a supporter of ISIS.
More to follow…