Ilford hate preacher remains 'genuinely dangerous' despite impending release, prisons minister warns

PUBLISHED: 15:30 12 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:04 17 September 2018

Radical cleric Anjem Choudary, formely of Hampton Road, Ilford.

Radical cleric Anjem Choudary, formely of Hampton Road, Ilford.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ilford hate preacher Anjem Choudary remains "genuinely dangerous", the prisons minister has warned ahead of his release from prison next month.

Rory Stewart assured that the “completely pernicious” cleric would be watched “very, very carefully” by police and security services when he is freed next month.

Father-of-five Choudary, formerly of Hampton Road, Ilford, was found guilty of drumming up support for the Islamic State (IS) terror group and was jailed for five-and-a-half years.

In an interview published in a national newspaper on Tuesday, Mr Stewart said released extremists would be subjected to close monitoring by a variety of agencies.

Asked about Choudary’s release, he added: “He is somebody that I would put into the category I have just mentioned - somebody who was not given a sentence of enormous length but somebody who is a genuinely dangerous person.

“We will be watching him very, very carefully.”

Asked if Choudhary would be returned to Ilford after his release, a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) spokeswoman said the MoJ could not comment on individual cases.

Choudary, 51, managed to stay on the right side of the law for two decades despite being a leading figure in the banned al-Muhajiroun group.

But he was jailed at the Old Bailey in September 2016 after he “crossed the line” by backing IS in a series of talks posted on YouTube.

In one speech in March 2013, Choudary, set out his ambitions for the Muslim faith to “dominate the whole world”.

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.

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