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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Notorious UK hate preacher Anjem Choudary freed from prison

The extremist was taken from a high-security jail in a convoy of unmarked police cars

Anjem Choudary, pictured in 2015, left prison early on Friday after serving half of his jail term. AFP
Anjem Choudary, pictured in 2015, left prison early on Friday after serving half of his jail term. AFP

The British hate preacher Anjem Choudary was released from prison early on Friday after serving half of his sentence for supporting ISIS.

Mr Choudary, 51, was taken to a probation hostel where he will stay for the short-term under strict conditions to prevent him from returning to his prominent position as a radicaliser of young British Muslims.

He was pictured arriving at an undisclosed location in north London early on Friday after being taken from high-security Belmarsh prison in the southeast of the capital in a convoy of unmarked police vehicles.

He was jailed for five-and-a-half years in 2016 but served only half of his sentence, in line with established British practice. He faces more than 20 conditions on his freedom, including restrictions on his use of the internet, a curfew and a bar on contacts with other extremists.

If he flouts the restrictions he could be returned to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence.

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Read more:

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Security fears as UK extremist leader Anjem Choudary set for freedom

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Mr Choudary, a former lawyer, was the co-founder of Al Muhajiroun with Omar Bakri Mohammed, a former Hizb ut-Tahrir activist deported from Saudi Arabia in 1985.

Followers of the group – which was proscribed in 2006 – have been responsible for terrorist attacks in the UK and abroad. They include the 2005 attacks on the London transport network and the murder of a British soldier in 2013.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the authorities were well-equipped to deal with Mr Choudary after his arrest. Ministers said that he remained a “dangerous” extremist.