Extremists with links to Anjem Choudary face jail for supporting Islamic State
A PAIR of extremists with links to hate preacher Anjem Choudary are facing jail for their part in drumming up support for "vicious" Islamic State following a major undercover police operation.
UNIVERSAL NEWS & SPORT Zaiur Rahman and Mohammed Choudry face jail after being convicted of encouraging support for ISIS
A covert officer infiltrated the Luton chapter of the banned group Al-Muhajiroun (ALM) and secretly recorded speeches over 20 months before police swooped to arrest them.
At the meetings, attended by up to 80 people including young children, the group praised Islamic State and urged others to support the terror group and travel to Syria to fight.
In one rant on July 2 2015, Mohammed Choudry, 23, spoke of "40 trucks driving down Oxford Street full of explosives", the Old Bailey was told.
He was heard to tell 40 people at the invitation-only meeting in the Bedfordshire town: "A wave is coming - either be a part of it or you drown ... Either you like it or you don't like it."
His co-defendant, Zaiur Rahman, 39, helped to organise a series of meetings in July 2015 held in a marquee in his back garden and at a nearby Anglican church in Luton.
Following a retrial, Choudry, from Maidenhead, Berkshire, was found guilty of encouraging support for IS, while Rahman, of Ferndale Road, Luton, was convicted of three counts of arranging meetings in support of a banned organisation.
Judge Michael Topolski QC told the pair: "You, Zaiur Rahman, and you, Mohammed Sufiyam Choudry, have been convicted unanimously by this jury of arranging meetings and speaking at a meeting in support of a vicious terrorist organisation whose members and supporters - just like you two - have hijacked and corrupted the principles and practices of an ancient and revered religion for its own ends and purposes.
"You both will in due course be sentenced by me and can expect that sentence to be one of a term of imprisonment."
A jury of seven men and three women delivered the guilty verdicts following 18 hours and 29 minutes of deliberations.
GETTY Rahman and Mohammed have links to hate preacher Anjem Choudary
Rahman, wearing a padded sleeveless jacket, glasses and a grey sweatshirt, could be seen smiling in the dock following his conviction.
His co-defendant, wearing a black suit and white, open-necked shirt, displayed no emotion as the guilty verdict was delivered against him.
At the earlier trial, three other members of the group - Mohammed Istiak Alamgir, 37, Yousaf Bashir, 36 and Rajib Khan, 37, all from Luton - were convicted of their roles in spreading ISIS ideology.
The convictions came as a result of a Bedfordshire Police investigation into the activities of ALM in Luton in co-operation with the Metropolitan Police.
Among attendees at meetings were Islamic extremists Shazib and Junead Khan, who were also arrested for their activities.
GETTY They will be sentenced at the Old Bailey
Last May, delivery driver Junead Khan, 25, was jailed for life for plotting to kill a US soldier in the UK, while his uncle, Shazib Khan, 23, was handed an extended sentence of 13 years for his plans to fight in Syria.
During the gatherings, Rajib Khan hailed the Charlie Hebdo terror atrocity in Paris while Alamgir collected money for legal fees of convicted terrorist and ALM leader Omar Bakri Muhammed.
Following arrests in December 2015, police seized more than 270 electronic devices and recovered some 500 images and videos, including footage of Rajib Khan and Alamgir eating with Muhammed by a beach.
Bashir was found guilty of one count of addressing a meeting to encourage support for a proscribed organisation.
Khan was found guilty of one count of arranging or assisting in arranging and managing a meeting to support a proscribed organisation and one count of addressing a meeting to encourage support for a proscribed organisation.
Alamgir was found guilty of three counts of addressing a meeting to encourage support for a proscribed organisation.
They will be sentenced alongside Choudry and Rahman at the Old Bailey on a date to be fixed.
Following a separate Old Bailey trial last year, Anjem Choudary, 49, formerly chief spokesman for ALM, was jailed for five-and-a-half-years for encouraging support for IS. He has since asked for permission to appeal against his conviction.