The man whose face has become the symbol of terrorism in the UK has been found guilty of crimes concerned with praising Islamic State. He is now facing a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
I’m certain this isn’t the end of the jihad for him, in fact his whole social network are probably ecstatic at the news as it will mean he’ll be joining them in Belmarsh.
Choudary’s and his pal Mizanur Rahman, were found guilty of inviting support for IS – which is contrary to section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000 – between 29 June 2014 and 6 March 2015.
For over 20 years Choudary has been evading the law while taking every opportunity he could to gain publicity for his terror supporting ideology. He has been linked with terrorists for that entire period of time both those who are terrorists for the ideology they espouse and those who actually committed atrocities. The literature of his group al Muhajiroun was found with just about everyone from the suicide bombers who attacked Mike’s Place in Tel Aviv to Abdul Muttalab the underpants bomber to more recently Jihadi Sid.
Writing in the Guardian terrorism expert Rafaello Pantucci opens with the following;
The conviction of Anjem Choudary marks a significant moment in the history of British jihadism, but it is unclear what kind of an impact it will have. Terrorist groups and networks do suffer when they lose charismatic leaders. Their removal is unlikely to completely destroy a group, but it does change the dynamic.
He adds that;
the mere fact of his removal from the public conversation for an extended period will certainly do no damage to the cause of countering terrorism in the UK.
The BBC Home Affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani writes that:
The evidence now shows that Anjem Choudary is one of the most dangerous men in Britain. Not a bomb-maker. Not a facilitator. But an ideologue, a thinker, who encouraged others not to stop and think for themselves before they turned to violence to implement their shared worldview.
The ironic part of all this is how it was the emergence of the Islamic State that saw Choudary finally crossing the line. It was his own supporters who tipped his hand, forcing him to cross the line and pledge openly his allegiance to the Islamic State he had been talking about hypothetically for so many years. He spent so long winding up his people that he had to dance to their tune by the end even though he must have known it would be his downfall.