London, Mar.15 (ANI): AN Islamic cleric has urged his followers to give cash to front-line mujaheddin fighters as a counter to British troops returning from Iraq.
Anjem Choudary, a self-styled sharia judge and former leader of the banned group Al-Muhajiroun, has been quoted by The Times as telling his followers to stop spending their money on their families and divert it to Muslim soldiers waging a jihad.
Choudary has previously called for British women to be forced to wear burqas and for adulterers to be killed.
The emergence of the tape coincided with the death yesterday of a British soldier in Afghanistan, the 150th to die there since 2001. The soldier of the 2nd battalion, Royal Welsh regiment, was on foot patrol.
Last week Choudary's followers shouted abuse at soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment as they paraded through Luton, calling them "butchers and killers".
Choudary later called the troops "cowards who cannot fight".
Patrick Mercer, chairman of the Commons subcommittee on counter-terrorism, said: "It is crucial that Choudary is investigated by the police and if the evidence stacks up he must be charged."
Geoffrey Bindman, a leading lawyer, said: "There's an element of ambiguity in the term 'mujaheddin' but in the context it's possible he would be held to be seeking to raise money for terrorist purposes."
Choudary supporters taped a meeting last year at which he was preaching to disciples. A copy of the recording has been passed to The Sunday Times.
When confronted, Choudary said: "I don't think I've ever said to people 'raise money and send it to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban', which is what you are suggesting."
Imam Abdul Jalil Sajid, a leading Muslim cleric, said: "When people like Choudary say mujaheddin, they mean armed struggle against Britain and America." (ANI)