Three Luton men have been found guilty of "infecting the young minds of children" on Tuesday (16 August) by encouraging support for the Islamic State (Isis) and praising the shocking Charlie Hebdo attacks which took place in Paris, France.
Mohammed Istiak Alamgir, Yousaf Bashir and Rajib Khan gave speeches at a series of meetings in the town during Ramadan last year that were attended by up to 80 people including young children that were urged to travel to Syria to fight with Isis (Daesh) militants.
The three men were found to be supporters of the proscribed group al-Muhajiroun (ALM) after a joint investigation between Bedfordshire Police and the Met Police, code-named Operation Weedproof.
An undercover officer infiltrated the group for 20 months watching the three men deliver terrorist speeches in a Luton church and a marquee in an associate's back garden, reported NBC News.
Their convictions came on the same day that, in a separate trial at London's Old Bailey, radical cleric Anjem Choudary was convicted of supporting IS by encouraging support for the terrorist group in a series of talks posted on YouTube.
At the meetings, the men delivered speeches to up to 70 people at a time, including children. The group praised IS and encouraged others to support the terrorists, including by travelling to their self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq to fight alongside them.
Among those attending the meetings were Shazib and Junead Khan, both from Luton, who were subsequently arrested. Junead Khan is now serving a life sentence for plotting to kill a US soldier in the UK whilst Shazib Khan is serving 13 years' imprisonment for plans to fight alongside IS.
During the meetings Rajib Khan, 36, celebrated when terrorists slaughtered innocent journalists at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris. And Alamgir, 37, collected money at the talks, to pay the legal fees of convicted terrorist Omar Bakri Muhammed, seen as the head of ALM.
The trio were eventually arrested when officers from Bedfordshire Police and the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command swooped on their home addresses in December 2015. They seized over 1,500 exhibits, including more than 270 digital devices.
Khan was found guilty of one count of arranging/assisting in arranging/managing a meeting to support a proscribed organisation and one count of addressing a meeting to encourage support for a proscribed organisation. Bashir was found guilty of one count of addressing a meeting to encourage support for a proscribed organisation.
Alamgir was found guilty of three counts of addressing a meeting to encourage support for a proscribed organisation.
Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, said: "These men were closely associated with Al-Muhajiroun, a dangerous group which has inspired and influenced numerous terrorists. The men used meetings about Ramadan - a time for self-reflection and change for the better - to instead deliver subversive speeches that encouraged groups, including very young children, to engage in war alongside Daesh.
"Speeches like theirs inspire the terrorists of tomorrow and I am immensely pleased with the excellent work of my officers and Bedfordshire Police, which ensured the conviction of these men. Crucially, Bedfordshire Police and the Met are working with Luton Social Services to safeguard the vulnerable children we've identified were taken to the radical meetings."