With the United Kingdom's successful prosecution of noted radical Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary for providing material support to ISIS, British officials are now faced with the dilemma of what to with him when he is sentenced September 6th. While he is sure to receive a lengthy period of incarceration, that may create even more problems for counter terrorism officials. In going to prison, he is not actually moving from the frying pan to the fire. A more appropriate analogy is akin to the fox in the hen house. Anjem Choudary has spent the better part of 20 years preaching, proselytizing, and recruiting individuals to a radical form of Islam that encourages jihad as a necessary tenet of the faith. He has done it on street corners, mosques, and in front of television cameras. And like a sly fox, he avoided prosecution in the past because no direct contact between him and a terrorist organization could be proven until now. British authorities uncovered a video of Choudary pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.
When he goes into prison, Choudary will have the opportunity to continue his evil work in an environment that guarantees him a captive audience of people who already have a disdain for government and a predisposition for violence. It is fertile soil. How successful will he be? We already know of his effectiveness with ex-cons such as shoe bomber Richard Reid, who attended the Finsbury Mosque after his release from prison. Finsbury was one of the places that Choudary was allowed to preach his message of hatred and intolerance to all things non-Muslim. Many of his converts are already in prison for committing terrorist acts.
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