Three men imprisoned in the United Kingdom for a range of terrorist plots may soon walk free as their cases go before a parole board.
Parviz Khan, Jawad Akbar and Zakariya Ashiq will go before a parole board over the next few months, with Akbar’s case expected to go ahead before Christmas this year.
Khan, 50, was convicted in a plot to kidnap and behead a British soldier in 2008 after a six-month sting operation by British police. A judge sentenced the Birmingham resident to 13 years in prison, including time awaiting trial.
Akbar, 36, planned to bomb a shopping mall with 600 kilograms of fertilizer, hidden in a storage facility. A judge sentenced him to prison in life, but he will go before a board as part of the standard process for parole hearings.
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Ashiq, 26, attempted to join the Islamic State by flying to Syria in 2015, but failed to enter the country and had to return home. Police arrested him at Heathrow Airport upon his return and went to prison for six years.
The three men have also been identified as the disciples of a “hate” preacher, Anjem Choudary, who has inspired dozens of convicted terrorists and over a dozen plots over the past two decades, according to a report by The Daily Mail.
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Choudary has recently come under fire again for attempting to orchestrate online campaigns in support of extremist activities.
Choudary operated on Twitter and Telegram, sending encrypted messages and organizing “Twitter storms” to promote activities by his followers, The Independent reported.
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The Community Security Trust found that Choudary’s efforts resulted in around 43,000 mentions on Twitter. CST director Dave Rich told the Independent that “Choudary has spent decades finding loopholes in our legislation that still haven’t been closed.”
The increase in Choudary’s activity occurred after a ban preventing him from public speaking expired three months ago after he completed a five-year jail sentence for inviting support for ISIS.
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Chris Phillips, the U.K.’s former counterterrorism chief, warned that “Choudary remains a very dangerous individual.”
Choudary instead claimed that lawmakers have not done enough to protect him from extensive online abuse and threats.