Anjem Choudary and his mentor in al-Muhajiroun, Omar Bakri Muhammad, had a standard joke to disarm journalists, interchangeably deployed between the two of them. Even in the group’s ideal, polygamous sharia Britain, Choudary would confide with a smile, he would “only have one wife. Nobody else would marry me because of the bad publicity.”
“It was pretty tongue-in-cheek at times with Anjem,” said Adam Deen, a former member of the group who worked with Choudary in the years after the 9/11 attacks and came to know him well. “He enjoyed the game. He absolutely relished being hated. But it was also very, very serious, a very calculated strategy.”
Hannah Stuart, a researcher for the Henry Jackson Society think tank who has catalogued every British terror incident, said 23% of all Islamist terrorists convicted in the UK “have a direct and provable link to al-Muhajiroun or one of its aliases, and at least 10% have a proven personal relationship with Anjem Choudary. The true proportions are undoubtedly higher.”
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