Three men who organized and delivered terrorist speeches in Luton last year were convicted for their respective roles on Tuesday at the Old Bailey.
According to a statement released by the Metropolitan Police, the conviction came after an intelligence-led operation by Bedfordshire Police and the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command. The three men were identified as supporters of Daesh aka Islamic State.
Bedfordshire Police launched an investigation into the activities of proscribed terrorist organization Al-Muhajiroun (ALM) last year. Using a range of tactics, officers gathered evidence and intelligence which they shared with the Met Police last year.
The three men all residents of Luton were identified as, Yousaf Bashir, 36 who was found guilty of one count of addressing a meeting to encourage support for a proscribed organization. Rajib Khan, 38 was found guilty of one count of arranging/assisting in arranging/managing a meeting to support a proscribed organization and one count of addressing a meeting to encourage support for a proscribed organization and Mohammed Istiak Alamgir, 37 was found guilty of three counts of addressing a meeting to encourage support for a proscribed organization.
The evidence included the fact that Bashir, Khan and Alamgir had attended meetings at a church in Luton and a marquee in an associate’s back garden.
According to the Metropolitan Police, at the meetings, the men delivered incendiary speeches to around 50 to 70 people at a time, including children. The group praised Daesh and encouraged others to support the proscribed organization, including by travelling to Syria to fight alongside them.
Among those listening to their speeches were Shazib and Junead Khan – subsequently arrested by the Met Police. Junead Khan is now serving a life sentence for plotting to kill a US soldier in the UK; Shazib Khan is serving 13 years’ imprisonment for plans to fight alongside Daesh in Syria.
The group’s advocacy of terrorism was also evident outside the meetings. Rajib Khan celebrated when terrorists killed staff at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris and Alamgir collected money at the talks, to pay the legal fees of convicted terrorist Omar Bakri Muhammed, seen as the head of ALM.
Officers from Bedfordshire Police and the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command swooped on the men at their home addresses in December 2015.
They seized over 1,500 exhibits, including more than 270 digital devices. From these, they recovered over 500 images and videos.
Commenting on the conviction, Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command said, “These men were closely associated with Al-Muhajiroun, a dangerous group which has inspired and influenced numerous terrorists.”
“Speeches like theirs inspire the terrorists of tomorrow and I am immensely pleased with the excellent work of my officers and Bedfordshire Police, which ensured the conviction of these men,” he added.
A date for sentencing is to be set, the Metropolitan Police statement concluded.