A Canadian man arrested by British police at Heathrow Airport last week on suspicion of terrorism offences has now been formally charged.
“The Crown Prosecution Service has authorized charges in relation to Anjem Choudary and Khaled Hussein under the Terrorism Act,” said Nick Price, chief Crown prosecutor for the CPS counterterrorism division.
“The charges relate to the proscribed organization Al-Muhajiroun, also known as the Islamic Thinkers Society.”
In a statement, Scotland Yard said Hussein, 28, is from Edmonton, and Choudary, 56, is a British citizen from east London. According to multiple British media reports, Choudary is a well-known radical Islamic preacher who has previously been convicted of aiding ISIS.
Hussein has been charged with membership of a proscribed organization.
Choudary has been charged with one count of membership of a proscribed organization, one count of addressing meetings to encourage support for a proscribed organization, and one count of directing a terrorist organization.
Both men appeared in London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday. Court heard that Hussein has been a member of Al-Muhajiroun for two years and had been in close contact with Choudary, “in effect working for him.”
Hussein is scheduled to next appear on Aug. 4, and is due to be remanded in custody until then.
According to the Metropolitan Police, counterterrorism detectives investigating membership in the Islamic Thinkers Society arrested Hussein on July 17 after he arrived in London on a flight at Heathrow Airport. Choudary was arrested that same day.
According to a U.K. government website, Britain’s Home Secretary “proscribes” an organization if they believe it commits or participates in acts of terrorism, or prepares for terrorism, or promotes or encourages terrorism.
Those found guilty of an offence under Sections 11 and 12 of the U.K. Terrorism Act 2000 face a maximum of 14 years in prison and/or a fine. A person found guilty of an offence under section 56 of the act faces life imprisonment.
Choudary is known as one of Britain’s best-known radical Islamic preachers. For years, he has led groups under names including al-Muhajiroun, Islam4UK and Muslims Against Crusades.
In 2016, he was sentenced to 5½ years in prison for encouraging support for the group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Several people who attended Choudary’s rallies and events have been convicted of violent attacks, including a pair of al-Qaeda-inspired killers who ran over British soldier Lee Rigby and stabbed him to death in 2013.