Radical British preacher Anjem Choudary is jailed for inviting IS support

There was a shout of "Allahu Akbar" from his supporters in court

Radical British preacher Anjem Choudary is jailed for inviting IS support

File photo of British preacher Anjem Choudary | Image: Nick Ansell / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Radical preacher Anjem Choudary has been jailed for five and a half years in Britain after being convicted of inviting support for Islamic State.

His co-accused, Mohammed Rahman, was given the same sentence.

When the sentence was handed down, there was a shout of "Allahu Akbar" from Choudary's supporters in the public gallery, before the court was cleared.

Choudary became Britain's best-know Islamist preacher, and his followers were implicated in numerous plots around the world.

During the trial, the jury were shown pictures of Choudary and Rahman at a demonstration outside the Lebanese embassy in London in April 2014, before the Islamic State group was proscribed.

Some of the crowd were holding placards which had writing at the bottom which said: "Islamic State Is Solution" with the first letter of each word underlined to make ISIS.

The Old Bailey in London heard he had used online lectures and messages to encourage support for IS.

Security sources believe Choudary is linked to 500 British jihadis who have fled the UK to join the terrorist organisation in Syria and Iraq.

Speaking before his conviction in August, Choudary insisted he was merely exercising his right to freedom of speech.

The 49-year-old from east London said: "If you look at my speeches, I have said the same thing for 20 years. For me, it is a matter of worship.

"If people are implementing the Sharia, then I cannot shy away from what the divine text says in relationship to that.

"If you cannot say when you believe in something and you cannot share that view, then you don't really have freedom to express yourself in this country."