Anjem Choudhary had called on his supporters to release Aafia Siddiqui ‘physically or by ransom’ in a Telegram post in September last year, reports Asian Lite News
British hate preacher Anjem Choudhary urged his supporters to free a notorious Islamist fanatic dubbed ‘Lady Al Qaeda’, months before a British terrorist demanded her release while besieging a Texas synagogue on Saturday.
Choudhary called on his supporters to release Aafia Siddiqui ‘physically or by ransom’ in a Telegram post in September last year, the report said.
The 54-year-old has been able to openly carry out social media campaigns again after licence conditions barring him from public speaking expired in 2021, three years after he was released from prison following a conviction for supporting ISIS, the report said.
“The obligation upon us is to either free her physically or to ransom her or to exchange her,” Choudary wrote on his Telegram handle, the Washington Post reported.
“However, until such time as we can fulfil one of these obligations, the minimum that we can do is to use all that we have to raise awareness about her case, to keep her name in the hearts and in the minds of Muslims,” he added.
Briton Malik Faisal Akram died in a hail of bullets after a 10-hour stand-off on Saturday in which four people were held hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, 27 miles from Dallas, the Daily Mail report said.
Police sources said one of the 44-year-old’s demands was for Siddiqui to be released from the federal prison 30 miles from where the hostage standoff took place.
Choudary is believed to have influenced around 100 British jihadis through his hate-filled lectures and videos, including Lee Rigby’s killers and one of the London Bridge attackers.
Siddiqui was arrested in Afghanistan in 2008 by local forces who found her with 2 kg of sodium cyanide and plans for chemical attacks on New York’s Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building.
The Pakistani-born neuroscientist had bragged to her student friends at the age of just 21 that she would be proud to be on the FBI’s ‘Most Wanted’ list.
Police arrest 2 in connection with attack
The man who held four people hostage at a Texas synagogue was identified by US authorities as a British citizen Sunday while UK police later arrested two teens.
Hours later, Britain’s counter-terrorism police arrested two people and were questioning them in connection with the incident.
“Two teenagers were detained in South Manchester this evening. They remain in custody,” the Greater Manchester Police said in a statement.
The FBI’s field office in Dallas had earlier said there was “no indication” that anyone else was involved in the attack on the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue.
“There is no question that this was a traumatic experience,” Cytron-Walker said in a statement Sunday. “We are resilient and we will recover,” he added.
A man identifying himself as Akram’s brother Gulbar said in a Facebook post that the suspect had suffered from mental health problems.
“We would like to say that we as a family do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologize wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident,” Gulbar said in the post to a Muslim community Facebook page in Blackburn, in northwest England — where British police said Akram was from.
Gulbar added that he had been in touch with law enforcement in Texas and that his family hoped to get Akram’s body back to Britain for a funeral.
Meanwhile, Britain’s foreign minister Liz Truss likewise Sunday condemned the hostage-taking as an “act of terrorism and anti-Semitism.”
Siddiqui, the first woman to be suspected by the United States of links to Al-Qaeda and a cause celebre in Pakistan and in South Asian jihadist circles, was detained in Afghanistan in 2008.
Two years later she was sentenced by a New York court to 86 years in prison for the attempted murder of US officers in Afghanistan.
She is currently being held at a prison in Fort Worth, Texas — about 20 miles (32 kilometers) away from the synagogue which Akram attacked.
Siddiqui’s lawyer has said she “has absolutely no involvement” in the hostage situation and condemned it.
Any links she may have to Akram remained unclear.
Britain’s ambassador to Washington confirmed that British authorities were “providing our full support to Texas and US law enforcement agencies.”