A firebrand UK cleric who reportedly helped radicalise the men suspecting of beheading an American journalist has given "spiritual guidance" to several Melbourne Muslims.

London imam Anjem Choudary's followers reportedly indoctrinated Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, one of the main suspects in the savage killing of James Foley.

Friends say Bary was persuaded to join the fight in Syria after becoming friends with some of Choudary's followers.

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