UK: Anjem Choudary Released from Prison
by Soeren Kern • October 20, 2018 at 5:00 am
- “I believe we are underestimating the potency and danger of the radicalizers who don’t carry knives, guns and overtly plot terrorist attacks but who pollute the minds of young Muslim men.” — Richard Walton, former head of Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command.
- “I asked the guy who spoke to him if the de-radicalization program had worked and he said, ‘No, he’s got worse. He’s hardened. He speaks in the mind-set of the victim. He sees himself as a martyr the state tried to silence.'” — Fiyaz Mughal, head of the anti-extremist group Faith Matters.
- Choudary is now considering mounting a legal challenge to the strict conditions of his release, according to the Telegraph. It reported that he has applied for legal aid funding, at taxpayer expense, to bring his action against government ministers, and arguing the parole conditions breach his human rights.
The Islamist firebrand preacher Anjem Choudary, described as Britain’s “most dangerous extremist,” has been released from prison after serving only half of the five-and-a-half-year sentence he received in 2016 for pledging allegiance to the Islamic State.
Prison authorities could not prevent his release: under British sentencing guidelines, prisoners — even those who are still a risk to the public — automatically become eligible for release under license (parole) after serving half their terms.
Prime Minister Theresa May has downplayed concerns over Choudary’s release; British counter-terrorism authorities, however, say they are worried that he will re-exert influence on hundreds of followers upon his release. The cost to British taxpayers of keeping Choudary under surveillance is expected to exceed £2 million (€2.25 million; $2.6 million) a year, compared to the £50,000 (€57,000; $65,000) to keep him in prison.