The influence of Anjem Choudary, the London-based hate preacher who wants to establish an Islamic state in Britain, has now reached into the Muslim community in Scandinavia.
Last week it was disclosed that a Norwegian jihadist killed in Syria fighting alongside a terrorist group had with links with Choudary, who is infamous for urging young Muslim men to go abroad to fight with jihadi groups linked to Al Qaeda.
This could leave Choudary vulnerable to a request for extradition by the Norwegian public prosecutor.
Tonje Torsgard, a spokesperson for the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, told Breitbart London that it was not possible to comment on individual cases.
However, she did confirm that several provisions of the penal code might be applicable to a person “who incites someone to fight with a terrorist organisation.”
The penal code “makes it an offence to form, take part in, recruit members to or give financial or material support to a terrorist organization.”
“In general, Norwegian penal law has jurisdiction over serious offences which have taken place abroad, in many cases both when they are committed by a Norwegian national or a foreigner.”
“If the person charged resides in a foreign state the Prosecution Authority will consider whether to request the extradition of that person.”
Choudary, once spokesman for Islam4UK and other extremist groups now banned by the UK Government, has been linked to Egzon Avdyli, a 25-year-old from Oslo who was reported on Wednesday to have been killed in Syria. It is thought he was fighting as part of Isil, an Islamist group classed as a terrorist organisation by the American government, according to The Local, a Norwegian news service.
Avdyli would have joined between 500 and 700 Britons who have travelled to Syria to fight in the last three years. According to the website of MI5, the security service, British-based Islamic extremists “have supported terrorism by facilitating the travel of radicalised individuals overseas so they can join a terrorist group and potentially receive training and direction to plan an attack back in the UK.”
“Over the last two years, we have seen Syria become an attractive destination for UK extremists wishing to engage in violent jihad.”
In January the prime minister warned that the Home Secretary and others “must worry about the blowback from Syria of the radicalisation and terrorism being fostered there.”
The UK has no specific law which prohibits sending people abroad to fight. However, according to Robin Simcox, a terrorism and national security expert at the Henry Jackson Society: “There are other laws that could be loosely applicable.”
“For example, it is illegal to be a member of a proscribed group, to solicit funds for terrorist purposes and to give or receive terrorist training. These are notoriously hard offences to prove, but are generally applicable to what is happening in Syria.”
“Incitement and hate speech laws could in theory cover this kind of offence, but in practice very rarely meets the threshold needed for prosecution.”
“Choudary always just stays on the right side of this.”
Choudary could finally have crossed the line with his connections to the Oslo jihadist Avdyli through Ubaydullah Hussain, former leader of a Norwegian Islamist group called the Prophet’s Ummah. Choudary has been quoted in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten saying: “There are no formal links between us, but I am a mentor and advisor for the organisation.”
Hussain declared Avdyli a martyr in a Facebook post on Thursday. Included in the post was a picture of Avdyli and Hussain standing on each side of Choudary.
The infamous hate preacher has been connected with terrorism previously, when Lee Rigby murderer Michael Adebolajo was photographed at an Islamist rally with him in London.
Nearly one in five individuals convicted of terrorism offences in the UK over the last decade have had links to Choudary’s now proscribed group Al-Muhajiroun and its successor organisations.