(New York, N.Y.) – Internationally designated Islamist cleric and convicted ISIS supporter Anjem Choudary, whose ban on public speaking in the United Kingdom expired this July, is once again using social media to spread his extremist messages.
Despite being banned from Twitter and Facebook, Choudary has signed up for a plethora of other social media platforms on which to post Islamist diatribes calling for the creation of an Islamic caliphate ruled under sharia law, all while boasting of how easily he rejoined social media. Notably, Choudary has taken to the encrypted messaging app Telegram to disseminate essays and press releases to his hundreds of followers, whom he has also encouraged to undertake “Twitter storms” in support of other imprisoned propagandists. Despite Choudary’s own banishment from Twitter, his followers continue to proliferate his teachings and new writings on Twitter, generating at least 43,000 mentions of the British cleric on the platform.
Renewed public scrutiny has been placed on Choudary, his teachings, and presence on social media following the murder of British MP David Amess. Friends of the suspect in that murder, Ali Harbi Ali, have made statements to authorities that Ali radicalized in high school from watching YouTube videos of Choudary. For years before his 2014 arrest, Choudary’s Islamist speeches, anti-Western rhetoric, and declared support for foreign Islamist movements such as ISIS drew the attention of British authorities, who connected Choudary to multiple terrorist-related cases in the United Kingdom and Europe.
Choudary remains a dangerous and influential figure. The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) compiled a list of violent individuals and organizations that Choudary influenced or communicated with throughout his career. CEP has documented 145 entities, 112 individuals, and 33 organizations with links to Choudary. Of these 112 individuals, 19 successfully carried out terrorist attacks, 50 attempted to carry out a terrorist attack, and 38 are Islamist propagandists or recruiters.
Upon Choudary’s early release from prison in 2018, the British government imposed multiple restrictions on his movement and communications, including a ban on public speaking. That ban and many other restrictions expired on July 19, 2021, after which Choudary held a press conference in a park near his east London home to proclaim his innocence and label himself a “prisoner of faith” who could not receive a fair trial in the United Kingdom. He went on to condemn the criminalization of people for their opinions, denying he ever had any ties to extremism. He further labeled the government-imposed restrictions on him after his release as “draconian.”
To read CEP’s Anjem Choudary resource, please click here.
To read CEP’s Anjem Choudary’s Ties To Extremists resource, please click here.