Mohammed Mizanur Rahman

Mohammed Mizanur Rahman is a British preacher and convicted ISIS supporter.Vikram Dodd, “Anjem Choudary denies breaking terrorism laws,” Guardian (London), June 28, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/28/anjem-choudary-denies-breaking-terrorism-laws; Cassandra Vinograd, “Anjem Choudary, Radical Cleric, Charged With Supporting ISIS: Scotland Yard,” NBC News, August 5, 2015, http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/anjem-choudary-radical-cleric-charged-supporting-isis-scotland-yard-n404381;
“Anjem Choudary and Mohammed Rahman convicted of inviting support for Daesh,” Crown Prosecution Service, August 16, 2016, http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/anjem_choudary_and_mohammed_rahman_convicted_of_inviting_support_for_daesh/;
Mizanur Rahman, Twitter post, June 12, 2015, 4:13 p.m., https://twitter.com/Abu_Baraa1/status/609498866312970240.
He and his close associate, radical British cleric Anjem Choudary, were arrested in September 2014 for suspected membership in ISIS.Martin Evans, “Anjem Choudary charged with supporting a terror organization,” Telegraph (London), http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11784970/Anjem-Choudary-charged-with-supporting-a-terror-organisation.html. Rahman and Choudary were convicted in July 2016 of inviting support for the terror group and both were subsequently sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison.“Anjem Choudary and Mohammed Rahman convicted of inviting support for Daesh,” Crown Prosecution Service, August 16, 2016, http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/anjem_choudary_and_mohammed_rahman_convicted_of_inviting_support_for_daesh/; Alexis Flynn and Jenny Gross, “U.K. Preacher Anjem Choudary Convicted of Inviting Support for Islamic State,” Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-preacher-anjem-choudary-convicted-of-supporting-islamic-state-1471361122; Stephen Castle, “Anjem Choudary Is Sentenced to Prison for Promoting ISIS,” New York Times, September 6, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/07/world/europe/anjem-choudary-sentenced-isis.html.

Rahman has a long history of interaction with individual extremists and groups. At age 17, Rahman met Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed—the former leader of the U.K. branch of global Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir and banned British Islamist group al-Muhajiroun—at a lecture in Britain. Bakri Mohammed—who is now incarcerated in Beirut—reportedly played a crucial role in shaping Rahman’s extremist outlook.Kevin Sullivan, “Police call him an ISIS recruiter. He says he’s just an outspoken preacher,” Washington Post, November 23, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/police-call-him-an-isis-recruiter-he-says-hes-just-an-outspoken-preacher/2015/11/23/924d8f6e-8a15-11e5-9a07-453018f9a0ec_story.html.

Rahman also has a history of incarceration on incitement charges. From 2007 to 2010, Rahman spent time in prison after following his conviction on charges of inciting violence and soliciting the murder of American and British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.“Muslim ‘wanted new 9/11’ in All Over Europe,” Sun (London), November 4, 2006, http://www.unitedcopts.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=311&catid=15&Itemid=124;
“Cartoons protester found guilty,” BBC News, November 9, 2006, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6133516.stm;
Mark Duell, “Islamic hate preacher praises terrorist group which kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls as being ‘full of good messages,’” Daily Mail (London), May 29, 2014, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2642913/Police-probe-Islamic-preacher-praised-terrorist-group-Boko-Haram-kidnapped-Nigerian-schoolgirls.html.
In 2008, Rahman briefly took part in the U.K.’s national counter-extremism program, Prevent.Michael Holden, “Why Britain is still losing its fight against radicalization,” Reuters, October 13, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-britain-radicalisation-idUSKCN0I20ET20141013.

Before his September 2014 arrest, Rahman broadcasted his lectures via YouTube and FacebookMizanur Rahman, Twitter post, June 16, 2015, 11:22 a.m., https://twitter.com/Abu_Baraa1/status/610875107955863552. and used Twitter to further disseminate his propaganda.Mizanur Rahman, Twitter post, June 20, 2015, 8:53 a.m., https://twitter.com/ummmuawiyahh/status/519820985143664640. Rahman openly called for “Sharia in the UK”Mizanur Rahman, Twitter post, May 9, 2015, 12:13 a.m., https://twitter.com/Abu_Baraa1/status/597117095827132416. and claimed that ISIS’s flag would one day fly over the White House.Kevin Sullivan, “Police call him an ISIS recruiter. He says he’s just an outspoken preacher,” Washington Post, November 23, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/police-call-him-an-isis-recruiter-he-says-hes-just-an-outspoken-preacher/2015/11/23/924d8f6e-8a15-11e5-9a07-453018f9a0ec_story.html. On Twitter, Rahman regularly encouraged the freeing of Islamists in prison, including Bakri Muhammad.Mizanur Rahman, Twitter post, June 21, 2015, 7:30 p.m., https://twitter.com/Abu_Baraa1/status/612809820664631296. On numerous occasions,Mizanur Rahman, Twitter post, May 13, 2015, 7:17 a.m., https://twitter.com/Abu_Baraa1/status/598492297085505536. Rahman has excused or justified terrorist attacks on London, claiming, “I must accept that I could become collateral damage in any #LondonAttack by its many angry war victims.”Mizanur Rahman, Twitter post, May 13, 2015, 7:18 a.m., https://twitter.com/Abu_Baraa1/status/598492590120574976. Rahman also claimed that “minority citizens are being murdered by the authorities on a mass scale in #USA not #IS.”Mizanur Rahman, Twitter post, August 3, 2015, 12:10 p.m., https://twitter.com/Abu_Baraa1/status/628281784032186368.

Following ISIS’s declaration of a caliphate in June 2014, both Rahman and Choudary pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi over a Skype call with a convicted terrorist in Indonesia, according to authorities. Alexis Flynn and Jenny Gross, “U.K. Preacher Anjem Choudary Convicted of Inviting Support for Islamic State,” Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-preacher-anjem-choudary-convicted-of-supporting-islamic-state-1471361122;
“Anjem Choudary and Mohammed Rahman convicted of inviting support for Daesh,” Crown Prosecution Service, August 16, 2016, http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/anjem_choudary_and_mohammed_rahman_convicted_of_inviting_support_for_daesh/.
That summer, Rahman posted a series of videos to YouTube in which he trumpeted ISIS’s caliphate. He asked viewers: “How is America going to survive against the Islamic State’s defense and retaliation? This is the real question. I do not believe they are going to survive. I think it is already over for America. They don’t want to admit it, but it’s over.”“British Islamist Abu Baraa in Support of ISIS: We Can Start Having Slave Girls Again,” MEMRI, July-August 2014, http://www.memritv.org/clip_transcript/en/4551.htm.

Police arrested Rahman, Choudary, and seven others on September 25, 2014, for suspected membership in ISIS.Martin Evans, “Anjem Choudary charged with supporting a terror organization,” Telegraph (London), August 5, 2015, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11784970/Anjem-Choudary-charged-with-supporting-a-terror-organisation.html; Vikram Dodd and Josh Halliday, “Anjem Choudary among nine arrested in London anti-terrorism raid,” Guardian (London), September 25, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/sep/25/nine-arrested-london-anti-terrorism. Both men were briefly held before being released on bail, though their passports were confiscated.Greg Botelho and Barbara Arvantidis, “Radical UK cleric Anjem Choudary pleads not guilty to supporting ISIS,” CNN, December 11, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/11/europe/uk-radical-cleric-choudary/; Omar Shahid, “ISIL sympathisers say support is growing,” Al Jazeera, December 4, 2014, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/12/isil-sympathisers-say-support-growing-2014122105944176424.html. In August 2015, the pair pled not guilty to charges of supporting ISIS.Jamie Grierson and Shiv Malik, “Preacher Anjem Choudary charged with encouraging support for Islamic State,” Guardian (London), August 5, 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/aug/05/cleric-anjem-choudary-charged-with-encouraging-support-for-islamic-state. According to Commander Dean Haydon of the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter Terrorism Command, Rahman and Choudary had developed careers as spokesmen for extremists, but always avoided crossing the line into criminal speech until they pledged allegiance to ISIS. “Their recent speeches and the oath of allegiance were a turning point for the police — at last, we had the evidence that they had stepped over the line and we could prove they were actively encouraging support of ISIS,” he said.Stephen Castle, “Anjem Choudary Is Sentenced to Prison for Promoting ISIS,” New York Times, September 6, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/07/world/europe/anjem-choudary-sentenced-isis.html. On July 28, 2016, Rahman and Choudary were both convicted of inviting support for ISIS.“Anjem Choudary and Mohammed Rahman convicted of inviting support for Daesh,” Crown Prosecution Service, August 16, 2016, http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/anjem_choudary_and_mohammed_rahman_convicted_of_inviting_support_for_daesh/; Alexis Flynn and Jenny Gross, “U.K. Preacher Anjem Choudary Convicted of Inviting Support for Islamic State,” Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-preacher-anjem-choudary-convicted-of-supporting-islamic-state-1471361122; Stephen Castle, “Anjem Choudary Is Sentenced to Prison for Promoting ISIS,” New York Times, September 6, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/07/world/europe/anjem-choudary-sentenced-isis.html. They were each sentenced to five years and six months in prison in September 2016.Stephen Castle, “Anjem Choudary Is Sentenced to Prison for Promoting ISIS,” New York Times, September 6, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/07/world/europe/anjem-choudary-sentenced-isis.html. Due to British probation laws, Choudary is expected to be released on probation in October 2018 after completing only half of his sentence. Choudary served an additional five months in prison for bail violations, making him eligible for release before Rahman.Martin Bentham, “Release of Islamist hate preacher Anjem Choudary next month 'is danger for us all', prisons minister warns,” Evening Standard (London), September 11, 2018, https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/release-of-hate-preacher-anjem-choudary-next-month-is-danger-for-us-all-prisons-minister-warns-a3932731.html; Rory Tingle, “Hate preacher Anjem Choudary - who is accused of grooming London Bridge terrorists - will be free by end of next year,” Daily Mail (London), June 6, 2017, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4579216/Anjem-Choudary-free-end-year.html.

 
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