A British court sentenced five men to up to six and a half years in prison on Friday for rallying support for Islamic State, including encouragement to travel to Syria to fight with the group.
The five men organized and addressed meetings in the town of Luton, some 50 kilometres north of London, delivering “incendiary speeches” to groups of 50 to 70 at several meetings in mid-2015, police and prosecutors said.
The men were “part of the local branch of the proscribed extremist group al-Muhajiroun” and had links to Anjem Choudary, a radical Muslim cleric who was convicted of encouraging support for Islamic State last year, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
London’s Metropolitan Police said the men had praised Islamic State at the meetings and “encouraged others to support the proscribed organization, including by travelling to Syria to fight.”
“Today’s sentencing is good news for communities in London and Luton as these men were closely associated with al-Muhajiroun, a dangerous group which has inspired and influenced numerous terrorists,” said Commander Dean Haydon, the force’s head of counter-terrorism.
London’s Old Bailey sentenced Luton resident Rajib Khan, 38, to six and a half years in prison for organizing and addressing one of the meetings.
Mohammed Istiak Alamgir, 37, another local man, was jailed for six years on three counts of “addressing a meeting to encourage support for a proscribed organisation.”
The other three men were sentenced to up to four and half years in prison for organizing and speaking at the meetings.