Radical British-Pakistani Islamist Anjem Choudary is among nine people arrested in London for allegedly encouraging terrorism.
Choudary, the former spokesperson for the extremist group al-Muhajiroun, and was detained by Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism unit in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Whilst details of the men’s arrest have not been revealed, it is believed they are between the ages of 22 and 51 and are being held for being members of a proscribed organization as well as encouraging terrorism.
The Metropolitan Police said a total of 19 London addresses were being searched as part of an ongoing investigation into “Islamist related terrorism”.
Choudary, a former lawyer and self-proclaimed expert on Shariah Law, has had numerous run-ins with the law previously.
The son of a Pakistani-origin market trader, the 47-year-old was born in southeast London. He first came to public attention in 1999, when the Sunday Telegraph identified him as having played an instrumental role in the recruitment of Muslims to fight abroad.
He has long been a critic of western interventions in the Middle East and praised those who carried out the September 11 attacks on New York and the 7/7 bombings in London.
With fellow radical Omar Bakri Muhammad, he helped form the Islamist organisation, al-Muhajiroun which conducted numerous anti-Western demonstrations in London before being banned by the British government.
He supports the implementation of Sharia law throughout the UK.