1 The al-Muhijaroun network, in its various guises, remains the largest and single most important radical Islamist group in the UK. It continues to attract hundreds of followers around the country.
2 Al-Muhajiroun is a gateway to terror. While there is no evidence to prove that the group’s founder, Omar Bakri Mohammad, or its current leader, Anjem Choudary, have directly instigated any terror plots that they have given people the justification and encouragement to take extreme acts. This report lists 70 people convicted of terrorism, terrorist-related offences in the UK, or died aboard over the last 14 years who have been linked to the group.
A much larger number of Islamist extremists, numbering several hundred, who have been linked to al-Muhajiroun, have been convicted of offences over the same period.
3 This report charts the history of the group, lists its front organisations and profiles its key leaders. London continues to be its heartland, which is unsurprising given that 78% of known Islamist extremists live in the capital, with Birmingham, Luton, Derby and Leicester its other strongholds.
4 Anjem Choudary’s group now leads a network of hardline Islamist organisations across Europe. These include groups in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Denmark and Italy. It is also closely linked to Islamist extremist groups in Germany, Norway and Finland. Together, they represent the largest extreme Islamist network in Europe linked to domestic or overseas terrorism.
5 Al-Muhajiroun is also active in the US. Almost a third of people arrested and convicted of Islamist terrorist offences in the US in recent years have been linked to its two linked groups, the Islamic Thinkers Society (ITS) and Revolution Muslim (RM).
6 Al-Muhajiroun has sent hundreds of British citizens to a succession of battlezones across the globe, from Chechnya to Bosnia, Pakistan to Afghanistan. Since 2008 al-Mahajiroun has encouraged its supporters to go to Somalia and Yemen and many have risen to leading positions in [Somali terror group] al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. This report reveals the extent of those links, connections between the infamous White Widow and Anjem Choudary and the involvement of one of the group’s supporters in the production of the AQ publication Inspire. We also identity the masked man narrating the recent al-Shabaab video and his links to al-Muhajiroun.
7 Over the past 15 months Anjem Choudary has developed close links with the European Ansar al-Islam operation, the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group in Northern Iraq. The report reveals the names of Ansar al-Islam leaders in Europe and reports from inside private events of the two groups.
8 Norway is emerging as a key recruiting ground for Islamist extremists, with between 40-65 Norwegians having been to Syria. In addition, several Norwegians, or people who have sought asylum in Norway, have been involved with al-Shabaab. They include Mohamed Abdikadir Mohamed, known as Ikrima, who is regarded as one of the most dangerous commanders in the Somali terror group Al-Shabaab. Another Norwegian was Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow, a 23-year-old who took part in the Westgate shopping mall attack.
9 Police and security services now suggest that at least 1,700 Europeans have fought, or are fighting, in Syria. Of the 300-350 Britons who have gone to Syria this report estimates that 50-80 have gone through al-Muhajiroun channels.
10 We estimate that al-Muhajiroun-connected groups across Europe have sent between 200-300 people to Syria, making it the largest single recruiting network in Europe.