Anjem Choudary is a Pakistani-British Islamist and a social and political activist who has been described as "the face" of militant Islamism or the "best known" Islamic extremist in Britain.
47 Facts About Anjem Choudary
Anjem Choudary has been denounced by mainstream Muslim groups and heavily criticised in the UK media.
Anjem Choudary was born in Welling, Bexley in South East London on 18 January 1967 to Pakistani Muslim parents.
In 1996, Anjem Choudary married Rubana Akhtar, who had recently joined al-Muhajiroun, which he led at the time.
Anjem Choudary enrolled as a medical student at Barts Medical School.
Anjem Choudary switched to law at the University of Southampton and spent his final year as a legal student at Guildford, before moving to London to teach ESL.
Anjem Choudary found work at a legal firm and completed his legal qualifications to become a lawyer.
Anjem Choudary became the chairman of the Society of Muslim Lawyers, but was removed from the roll of solicitors in 2002.
Anjem Choudary was present at the launch of its intended successor, Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah, and after that he helped form Al Ghurabaa, which was banned in July 2006.
Anjem Choudary then became the spokesman for Islam4UK until it was proscribed in 2010.
In 2002, following a bazaar organised by al-Muhajiroun, Anjem Choudary gave a talk on education in Slough.
Anjem Choudary's lecture outlined his ideas for a parallel system of Islamic education in the UK and included elements of the group's ideology.
The UK government had investigated expelling Bakri even before the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and in July 2003 the headquarters of al-Muhajiroun, and the homes of Bakri and Anjem Choudary, were raided by the police.
Anjem Choudary claimed that ministers were inventing rules to ensure that Bakri could not return.
Anjem Choudary blamed the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for orchestrating their deportations, claiming that the four were there to help Bakri set up a madrasah.
Anjem Choudary was heckled by many of those in the audience.
Anjem Choudary was a spokesman for Al Ghurabaa, believed to have been an offshoot of al-Muhajiroun.
Anjem Choudary then announced that Bakri would be speaking, via a video-conference link, although technical problems meant that his address was instead given over a telephone line.
Anjem Choudary has regularly attended public marches and, following a protest march outside the Danish Embassy in London on 3 February 2006, held in response to the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.
Anjem Choudary was criticised by his fellow panellists, who included Ann Cryer, Humera Khan, Sayeeda Warsi, Professor Tariq Ramadan, and Roger Knapman.
Anjem Choudary urged Muslims to defend themselves against perceived attacks by "whatever means they have at their disposal", and referred to the 2 June 2006 Forest Gate raid in which Mohammed Abdul Kahar was shot in the shoulder.
Anjem Choudary encouraged Muslims not to cooperate with the police under any circumstances.
Several days later, on 9 June 2006, Anjem Choudary organised a demonstration outside the Forest Gate police station in London, to protest against the arrest of the two Forest Gate men.
Anjem Choudary attempted to enter France to demonstrate against the French government's decision to ban the burka, but was stopped at the port of Calais.
Anjem Choudary's passport was seized and he was issued documents banning him from France indefinitely.
On 13 December 2013, Anjem Choudary led a march in Brick Lane, organised by the east London-based Sharia Project, demanding a ban on alcohol being sold by Muslim establishments.
An East London Mosque official, speaking of the patrols, identified The Shariah Project as "strongly linked" to Anjem Choudary's banned group Al-Muhajiroun.
Since Anjem Choudary had called for the establishment of an Islamic state for many years in his lectures, "he came under intense sustained pressure from his acolytes", to declare his support for the new state.
Journalist Dominic Casciani pointed out that Anjem Choudary might circumvent laws on terrorism if "he was supporting a political concept" - "not the proscribed terrorist group behind it".
On 5 August 2015, Anjem Choudary was charged with one offence under section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000 for inviting support of a proscribed organisation, namely Islamic State, between June 2014 and March 2015.
Shortly after his release, it was reported that Anjem Choudary would be placed in a probation hostel in London Borough of Camden for six months where he would be required to abide by a number of conditions, such as a ban on speaking in public and talking to the media.
In mid-May 2019, Anjem Choudary was released from a probation hostel and began "the gradual process of becoming a free man".
Anjem Choudary referred to the 11 September 2001 terrorists as "magnificent martyrs".
Anjem Choudary refused to condemn the 7 July 2005 London bombings, but accused the Muslim Council of Britain of "selling their souls to the devil".
Anjem Choudary blamed the 2013 murder of Lee Rigby, an off-duty British soldier, on British foreign policy.
Anjem Choudary has voiced support for the Muslim community in Somalia, who, he claims, have been "violated" by Christian-backed Ethiopians, and has called for other members to fight jihad.
Anjem Choudary believes in the primacy of Islam over all other faiths, and the implementation of Sharia Law, in its entirety, in the UK.
In September 2014, Anjem Choudary described Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, as "the caliph of all Muslims and the prince of the believers".
On 30 March 2017, Anjem Choudary was declared a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the United States Department of State.
The designation means that each UN member state is legally obliged to freeze financial assets belonging to Anjem Choudary, prevent him from entering or transiting their countries and stop any weapons reaching him.
In 2019, the BBC reported that Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed, one of the attackers in the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings, that killed more than 250 people, was radicalized by Anjem Choudary after attending his sermons in the UK in 2006.
AIVD, the Dutch intelligence agency, assessed Anjem Choudary "to be a key influence in the spread of the jihadi movement in the Netherlands".
Islam4UK and its leader Anjem Choudary do not represent or speak for Islam or British Muslims but are a "platform" for the extremist movement al-Muhajiroun.
Anjem Choudary has enjoyed wide exposure in the UK through "frequent media appearances", and according to Graeme Wood, "accepting absolutely every media request that he receives".
Anjem Choudary has been heavily criticised by most UK newspapers, some of which describe him as an extremist, or radical cleric or preacher.
Anjem Choudary engages in these provocations because he is deeply hostile to any coming together of Muslims and non-Muslims.
Anjem Choudary has written many pamphlets and articles, including Human Rights: Comparison between the Declaration of Human Rights and Divine Rights in Islam and Groups and Parties in Islam: The Islamic Verdict.