Anjum released after serving half jail term

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LONDON: Radical cleric Anjem Choudary was released from prison on Friday having served half his sentence for encouraging support for the militant Islamic State group, British media reported.

Anjem Choudary leaves a bail hostel in north London after his release from Belmarsh Prison.

The 51-year-old was jailed for five-and-a-half years in 2016, and will serve the rest of his sentence under strict supervision orders having been released from Belmarsh prison, near London.

He is expected to return to his home in Ilford, east of London, although will not be able to use any internet-enabled devices without permission, the BBC reported. Other restrictions are reported to include bans on leaving Britain without permission and on attending certain mosques and he will only be allowed to meet with people approved by the police.

Anjum Choudary is the former head in Britain of Islam4UK or al-Muhajiroun, a now-banned group co-founded by Omar Bakri Muhammad that called for Islamic law in the UK. For two decades, the former lawyer of Pakistani descent stayed on the right side of the law, becoming Britain’s most prominent radical preacher.

The court heard that Choudary had broadcast speeches recognising Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the leader of the militant Islamic State group. Choudary and his co-defendant Mohammed Rahman were arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command on Sept 25, 2014. The father-of-five previously hit the headlines for organising a pro-Osama bin Laden event in London in 2011.