Ilford hate preacher Anjem Choudary released from prison
PUBLISHED: 08:01 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:58 19 October 2018
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Ilford hate preacher Anjem Choudary, who was jailed for inviting support for Islamic State, was released from Belmarsh prison in south-east London this morning (October 19).
The 51-year-old cleric, who lived in Hampton Road, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison in 2016 at the Old Bailey.
It is thought he will initially be placed in a probation hostel and will have to comply with more than 20 licence conditions.
There are a number of standard requirements, including maintaining good behaviour, receiving visits from and keeping in contact with his supervising probation officer, and not travelling outside the UK without prior permission.
In addition, Choudary will be subject to a bespoke package of further measures while on licence.
These are expected to include: electronic tagging; a night-time curfew; requirements to stay within a set area and only attend pre-approved mosques; a ban on contacting individuals who he knows or believes to have been charged with or convicted of extremist-related offences without prior approval; and restrictions relating to internet use and mobile device ownership.
Any breach of licence conditions can result in immediate return to custody.
Choudary will be supervised under a system known as multi-agency public protection arrangements (Mappa).
In a separate measure, his name has been added to a UN sanctions list, which means he is subject to aassets freeze and travel ban.
Choudary managed to stay on the right side of the law for two decades despite being a leading figure in the banned al-Muhajiroun group.
In one speech in March 2013, Choudary, set out his ambitions for the Muslim faith to “dominate the whole world”.
His supporters included Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, the murderers of Fusilier Lee Rigby, and suspected ISIS executioner Siddhartha Dhar.
He refused to denounce the execution of journalist James Foley by so-called Jihadi John, aka Mohammed Emwazi, in Syria in 2014.
He is now being released after reaching the halfway point of a five-and-a-half-year sentence, when time spent on remand is taken into account.
Police and probation services are equipped to manage his release, prime minister Theresa May said at a press conference in Brussels yesterday.
She said: “The police, the prison, the probation service and other agencies have a range of powers available to them.
“They also have significant experience in dealing with such offenders
“This includes the setting of strict licence conditions, such as restrictions on movement and internet access and stringent curfews, the breach of which could result in immediate recall to prison.”
Last month prisons minister Rory Stewart commented that Choudary remains “genuinely dangerous”.