From solicitor to ISIS supporter: Anjem Choudary convicted of terror offence as ability to stay ‘just within the law’ deserts him

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British radical preacher will be sentenced next month


A former solicitor turned radical cleric has been convicted of inviting others to support the jihadist militant group ISIS.

Anjem Choudary, 49, originally studied medicine at Barts Medical School in London, according to The Guardian. However, after failing his first-year exams, Choudary — who was born in Welling, south London — made the switch to law.

Completing his legal studies at the College of Law (now the University of Law) in Guilford, it is reported that Choudary quickly opened his own solicitors’ practice in his late 20s.

However, according to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the radical preacher hasn’t held a valid practising certificate since 2002. And despite reports that he owned his own practice, a spokesperson for the SRA claimed to Legal Cheek that Choudary “has never worked anywhere”. Continuing, the spokesperson stressed his removal from the roll was not in relation to any “misconduct issue”.

Having reportedly been quite the party animal at university, Choudary — a former chairman of what’s been termed “the Society of Muslim Lawyers” (which appears to no longer exist under this name) — became more and more outspoken about the implementation of Sharia law across Britain.

As well as suggesting the Queen should be required to wear a burqa, the ex-solicitor controversially argued in favour of “lashes” for those caught consuming alcohol.

According to the Mail Online, Choudary’s extreme views “possibly” stemmed for his “failure to land a well-paid job with a big City law firm.”

Yesterday’s reports state the preacher was able to “stay just [the] right side of the law” using his “legal training and forensic understanding of terrorism legislation”.

Choudary — a former media spokesperson for controversial radical Islamist group Islam4UK — finally slipped up after urging his followers to support ISIS in a series of talks broadcast on YouTube between June 2014 and March 2015.

Alongside his co-defendant Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, 33, Choudary was found guilty on one count contrary to section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Originally convicted at the Old Bailey on 28 July, reporting restrictions have — until yesterday — prevented the result being made public.

Facing up to ten years behind bars, Choudary and Rahman will be sentenced on 6 September.