Luton terror accused ‘promoted ISIS in a church hall’

An address on Ferndale Road, Luton, was raided by counter-terrorism officers last Wednesday (November 2)
An address on Ferndale Road, Luton, was raided by counter-terrorism officers last Wednesday (November 2)

Four men used an Anglican church hall in Luton to promote the cause of ISIS, a court heard this morning.

Mohammed Istiak Alamgir, 36, Ziaur Rahman, 38, Yousaf Bashir, 35, and Rajib Khan, 37, were arrested last Wednesday as part of a joint operation by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) and the Eastern Counter Terrorism and Intelligence Unit (ECTIU).

This morning they all appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court charged with a range of terror offences.

Mr Alamgir, is alleged to have addressed four meetings– on June 29, July 7, July 11 and July 15– to encourage support for ISIS or to ‘further its activites’.

Mr Rahman is said to have organised all three July meetings contrary to the Terrorism Act 2000.

Mr Bashir has been charged with addressing a meeting on June 29 in support of ISIS, while Mr Khan is accused of arranging and speaking at a meeting on July 11.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that the meetings occurred at an Anglican church hall in Luton and at Mr Rahman’s home.

It was said that the meetings were convened to preach hatred for “western values of tolerance and freedom.”

Mr Alamgir and Mr Bashir, both with long beards, were in court first and spoke only to confirm their identities and addresses during a brief hearing before District Judge John Zani.

Mr Rahman and Mr Khan were then brought into the dock.

The four men, all from Luton, have been remanded in custody until January 8 when they will appear at the Old Bailey.

The arrests, which police have said is are not connected to the Paris attacks, occurred a week after counter-terrorism officers detained another man from Luton.

The 30-year-old, of Claremont Road, was arrested on suspicion of being a member of a proscribed terrorist organisation.

At the time of writing he has not been charged of an offence.