Islamic terrorist and recruiter Anjem Choudary was arrested today following a dawn raid on his home.
Choudary, an extremist cleric from Britain, has been taken into custody as authorities look into possible terrorism-related offences.
Following dawn raids at three nearby residences, police took the 56-year-old resident of East London into custody, while at Heathrow Airport, a second man was detained after recently arriving in the UK from Canada.
According to the Metropolitan Police, both were being detained on suspicion of violating the Terrorism Act 2000 by belonging to a prohibited organisation.
“Counter-terrorism detectives have arrested two men as part of an investigation into suspected terrorism offences,” it said in a statement.
“They arrested a 28-year-old Canadian national at Heathrow Airport at approximately 12.35, after he arrived on a flight from Canada.
“Both were arrested on suspicion of membership of a proscribed organisation, contrary to section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The men are currently being held under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000, at a West London police station.
“Police searches of three addresses in East London are ongoing.”
Choudary was released early from a five-and-a-half-year sentence from HMP Belmarsh in 2018. He had been convicted of encouraging support for ISIS and subjected to more than 20 conditions, which included a ban on public speaking, restricted internet and mobile phone use and a ban on contacting suspected extremists.
Those conditions were lifted in 2021, although he was barred from many mainstream social media channels, including Twitter and Facebook.
Mr Choudary led the Al Muhajiroun (ALM) network, which inspired terrorists including Usman Khan, who killed two people on London Bridge in 2019. Khan was on licence after being released early from a prison sentence after he was convicted of plotting to bomb the London Stock Exchange.
In 2021, ISIS fanatic Ali Harbi Ali, who had been radicalised after watching videos featuring Mr Choudary, murdered British MP David Amess.
The news comes after Home Secretary Suella Braverman warned the nation this week that ISIS and al-Qaeda are still planning attacks inside the UK.
Last year, counter-terror police foiled eight ‘late-stage’ terror plots with a number of them described by Scotland Yard as ‘close calls’ and ‘goal line saves’, and the Metropolitan Police revealed earlier this year that they are currently handling 800 live terrorism-plot investigations.
Ms Braverman is also expected to use the CONTEST update to warn about the threat of hostile countries, including Russia, using terrorism to sow division in the UK.
She will say that ‘terrorist narratives are also exploited by hostile actors such as Russia, which is seeking to promote divisive and polarising narratives in the West’, and warn that ‘this is likely to increase in the future’.
For years, Russia has used bot farms and dubious online accounts and organisations to amplify divisive debates and anti-west conspiracy theories online, with many sharing such toxic posts completely unaware that they are essentially helping the Kremlin.
Meanwhile, ISIS, known for its implementation of harsh, oppressive forms of Sharia law and gruesome torture and execution of innocent people, continues to carry out its operations, and on 16th February 2023, senior ISIS leader Hamza al-Homsi blew himself up in a U.S.-led raid in Syria.
A Whitehall source told The Times: “This is the first [report] of its kind for five years and is a comprehensive update for the UK’s response to terrorism. It’s about how the fragmentation of Islamic State and al-Qaeda is now posing a very different threat to our people, while state actors like Russia and Iran will increasingly try to capitalise on terrorism here in the UK. We can’t be complacent, the terrorists are morphing and we have to keep our vigilance up.”