UK: British radical Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary, jailed for inviting support for the Islamic State group, has been released, it was reported on Friday.
The cleric was sentenced in 2016 to five and a half years in prison.
The BBC reports:
He led an extremist network linked to violent jihadists, including one of the killers of soldier Lee Rigby in 2013.
Choudary, 51, has served less than half of his sentence and will complete the rest under strict supervision. Up to 25 measures to control him have been prepared, the BBC understands.
The BBC further reports:
Choudary, from Ilford in east London, once headed up the al-Muhajiroun network – a leading extremist group which was banned under terrorism laws.
The father-of-five did not organise terror attacks, but is considered one of the UK’s most prominent radicalisers.
He has been described as a “hardened dangerous terrorist” and someone who has had a “huge influence on Islamist extremism in this country” by former Met Police terror chief Richard Walton.
The BBC has learnt from counter-extremism sources that Anjem Choudary refused to take part in deradicalisation courses or exercises while serving the custodial part of his sentence.
He spent most of his time at HMP Frankland, County Durham, where he became the first inmate to be held in a separation unit, designed for the most high-risk terrorism offenders who are capable of radicalising others.
On a number of occasions, Choudary was offered opportunities to speak to mainstream religious leaders and other experts who have successfully turned around the mindset of other extremists.
But on each of those occasions, Choudary refused.
Nevertheless, the prison authorities were not able to delay his release.