ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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UK remands Islamist preacher in custody on terror charges

Radical cleric Anjem Choudary was arrested together with a Canadian man; both are charged with being members of a terrorist organization

Radical Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary speaks to a group of demonstrators outside the US embassy in central London, September 14, 2012. (AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL/ File)
Radical Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary speaks to a group of demonstrators outside the US embassy in central London, September 14, 2012. (AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL/ File)

LONDON, United Kingdom — British Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary was remanded in custody by a UK magistrate on Monday, after London’s Metropolitan police charged him with three terrorism offenses.

Choudary, 56, faces charges of belonging to a proscribed organization, addressing meetings to encourage support for a proscribed organization and directing a terrorist organization, the force said.

A 28-year-old Canadian, Khaled Hussein, was also ordered held in custody after he was charged with membership of a proscribed organization.

Both appeared separately at Westminster Magistrates Court in London, which heard that the charges relate to “an extreme form of Islam.”

“The charges relate to the proscribed organization al-Muhajiroun, also known as the Islamic Thinkers Society,” prosecutor Nick Price said.

“Criminal proceedings against Mr. Choudary and Mr. Hussein are now active and they each have the right to a fair trial,” he added.

Radical cleric Anjem Choudary gets into a vehicle as he leaves a probation hostel in London on October 19, 2018, following his release from prison having served half his sentence for encouraging support for the Islamic State group. (Daniel LEAL / AFP)

Chief magistrate Paul Goldspring ordered the pair remanded in custody and set their next appearance, at the central criminal courthouse known as the Old Bailey, on August 4.

Choudary, from east London, wore a black jacket and glasses, and spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address during Monday’s 30-minute court hearing. He was not asked to enter any pleas to the three charges.

A lawyer for Hussein, who is from Edmonton in the Canadian province Alberta, said he would not be entering a plea. The defendant spoke — in a Canadian accent — only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.

He is alleged to have been in “close contact” with Choudary online to provide “a platform” for the group’s views for around two years, the court heard.

Counterterror officers investigating alleged membership of the proscribed organization arrested both men last Monday, the Metropolitan police has said.

Officers detained Choudary in east London and held Hussein at Heathrow Airport after he arrived on a flight.

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