Hardline Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary today said two followers jailed for attacking non-Muslims "deserve a pat on the back".
Convert Jordan Horner, 19, and Ricardo MacFarlane, 26, admitted being part of a "Muslim Patrol", a group of vigilantes opposing Western culture on the streets of the East End.
They told one couple they could not hold hands because it was "a Muslim area" and said a young woman would face "hellfire" because of the way she dressed. Mr Choudary said the men regularly attended his lectures, adding: "Essentially, they didn't do anything wrong. They didn't harm anyone. What they did in essence, it's commendable. They are trying to address issues like drug abuse and prostitution."