Anjem Choudary, Britain's loudest Islamist extremist, has finally been remanded in custody, charged under section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The charge is related to him sending messages to his 32,000 followers on Facebook, allegedly encouraging people to join Isis. His guilt or innocence is a matter for the courts. What concerns me here is his trajectory.
I first met Anjem in 1994, when I was 17 years old. We were both students of the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), which was led in the UK back then by the Syrian firebrand cleric Omar Bakri Muhammad. HT is responsible for first popularising the notion of resurrecting a theocratic caliphate in Muslim-majority countries. At the time, I had been studying at Newham College and was eventually expelled due to my Islamist belligerence. Anjem volunteered as my lawyer, furnishing me with advice on my expulsion.