Anjem Choudary investigated by UK police over jihad fundraising
March 16, 2009
Anjem Choudary investigated by police over mujahideen fundraising
Police are investigating whether a radical Muslim who has called for money to be collected for Islamic fighters has committed a criminal act.
By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent
Anjem Choudary, whose supporters hurled abuse at soldiers from the Royal Anglian regiment returning from Afghanistan last week, can be heard on a website calling for other Muslims not to save money for their families but to give it to "mujahideen" - holy warriors - instead.
The term is usually used to refer to fighters "defending Muslim lands" such as Afghanistan and Iraq, who are prepared to die as martyrs.
In the recording, posted on the site Islam4UK, Choudary said: "People looking for a place for their money to go so they can go to the front line and they can't find it.
"You have opportunity to carry dawah [spreading the word] to society . . . and you have money that can go towards the dawah, you have money that can go towards the mujahideen."
Choudary added: "When you are working collectively . . . people supporting the mujahideen, people collecting money for the dawah or giving money to the mujahideen, he [the devil] will come to you then. He will divert you, he will say to you, 'This money is needed for your family'."
Choudary, a former solicitor, said: "I don't think I've ever said to people 'raise money and send it to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.'"
But he added: "British troops engage in killing women and children. The British are occupiers, they have committed atrocities. The sooner they return the better."
Scotland Yard issued a statement, in which it said: "We are continually monitoring the activities of a range of groups and individuals. Any information we receive is considered and, where appropriate, action is taken."
It is an offence under the Terrorism Act to raise money for terrorism, whether in this country or overseas.
Choudary is one of the few former leaders of the banned group al-Muhajiroun, not to have been jailed.
Last year six former members, including Abu Izzadeen, who had barracked the former Home Secretary John Reid, were found guilty of offences including incitement to terrorism overseas and collecting money for terrorism after a recording emerged of speeches they had given at Regent's Park Mosque in central London.
Two supporters were also jailed for offences including inciting racial hatred and incitement to murder after protests against Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
Their former "sheikh" Omar Bakri Mohammed, fled to Lebanon in the wake of the July 2005 bombings, but still gives regular speeches over the internet.
The man who led the protests against the Royal Anglian regiment in Luton, Beds, Ishtiaq Alamgir, who also uses the name Sayful Islam [sword of Islam], had claimed to be a teacher, but investigations have revealed that he is actually on £277 a week unemployment and housing benefits.