News World Australian authorities concerned over release of UK hate preacher Anjem Choudary
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Australian authorities concerned over release of UK hate preacher Anjem Choudary

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Choudary has been linked to the radicalisation of a number of youths, particularly in Melbourne. Photo: Getty
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Australian security officials are concerned over the release from jail of one of Britain’s most notorious hate preachers.

The ABC has been told Australian authorities will closely monitor the release and conditions placed on Anjem Choudary, who is due to be freed in London on Friday.

The 51-year-old has served only half of a five-and-a-half-year sentence for encouraging support for the Islamic State group.

He is thought to have inspired hundreds of British jihadis, and even youths in Australia, and is widely believed to remain dangerous.

Choudary was the leader of the banned extremist group al-Muhajiroun, which motivated a number of Britons to join ISIS.

“He is a major risk for the British public and his views go beyond the borders of the British soil toward the whole world,” Salah al-Ansari, from the counter-extremism organisation Quilliam, said.

“And I think his release makes everyone concerned and alarmed about the level of extremism he might fuel in the future.”

Mr al-Ansari said Choudary is linked to at least 15 terrorist acts in Britain, including last year’s London Bridge attack, and the brutal murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in 2013.

Choudary was involved in the establishment of Sharia4Australia before he was sent to jail and has been linked to the radicalisation of a number of youths, particularly in Melbourne.

“I think all society should be concerned when a man who has done so much harm is being released back into the community,” the former head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, Chris Phillips, said.

“It seems the criminal system is working against the public.”

Choudary served two-and-a-half years of his sentence, allowing him automatic release under licence.

Assets frozen, overseas travel and internet ban in place

He reportedly had his assets frozen in the days leading up to his planned release and will be subject to 20 strict probation conditions, including a ban on using the internet without permission or supervision.

He will also be banned from travelling overseas.

British Prime Minister Theresa May moved to reassure the British public that Choudary would be closely monitored.

“When any terrorist offender is released well-rehearsed plans are put in place to keep the public safe,” Mrs May said.

“And the police, the prison, the probation service and other agencies have a range of powers available to them.

They also have significant experience in dealing with such offenders — and this includes the setting of strict licence conditions such as restrictions on movement and internet access, stringent curfews, and the breach of which could result in immediate recall to prison.”

Choudary will be taken to a probation hostel in London upon his release.
“He has got charisma and that is concerning,” Mr Phillips said.

“He influences people, impressionable people, across the world.”

-ABC