- Abu Rayah, 34, who fought in Syria, was frontman of Muslims Against Crusades
- Rayah was also the right-hand man of Muslim hate preacher Anjem Choudary
- He went to Syria via Turkey but now back in London and working for restaurant
Pictured: Extremist Abu Rayah, the ex right-hand man of hate preacher Anjem Choudary in Bethnal Green, east London
A former right-hand man of hate preacher Anjem Choudary who fought in Syria is now back in the UK – working as a takeaway delivery driver.
The 34-year-old extremist – who can be identified only by his pseudonym Abu Rayah – was the frontman of Muslims Against Crusades.
The group celebrated the 9/11 attacks, set fire to poppies, and threatened to burn effigies of Prince William and Kate on their wedding day.
He was described as MAC’s spokesman and also ‘played a significant role’ in Al-Muhajiroun, which influenced a generation of home-grown terrorists.
Rayah appeared in propaganda videos for the banned terror group and was pictured standing beside Choudary at a number of hateful protests – but still managed to get a job in the NHS before travelling to Syria.
Despite engaging in ‘terrorism-related activity likely including fighting’ in the war-torn country, he was able to travel freely through Europe and the Middle East upon his return.
He is one of around 400 Britons thought to have returned to the UK after fighting alongside insurgents in the Middle East.
It can now be revealed that he is working as a driver for a restaurant, delivering takeaways to the homes of unsuspecting customers via food app Just Eat.
Off to work: Rayah left the UK in 2015 and fought alongside insurgents in Syria – but is now back living in London and working as a moped driver for Just Eat delivering takeaways (pictured)
Speaking outside his council flat in East London, the Bangladeshi-born extremist said: ‘I haven’t had my passport removed. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t want to know.’
Rayah travelled to Turkey in February 2014 under the guise of a ‘two-week family holiday’.
From there, he entered Syria for up to four months ‘to engage in terrorism-related activity, likely including fighting on behalf on an Islamist extremist group’.
Rayah appeared in propaganda videos for the banned terror group and was pictured standing beside Choudary (pictured) at a number of hateful protests
MI5 believes Rayah may have associated with other Al-Muhajiroun members in Syria, including Omar Ali Hussain, who has admitted to being involved in the beheading of up to four people in the war-torn country.
He returned to Europe, and was interviewed in the UK after he was deported from Bulgaria on suspected terror offences. However, he was able to leave the country on two more occasions, travelling to Prague and Warsaw.
But in March 2015, his passport was cancelled by the Home Office on the grounds that his activities posed ‘a risk to the national security of the UK’. He sought a judicial review of the decision at the High Court but lost.
A judgment delivered in March said: ‘He acknowledges that in the period from 2008 to early 2011 he had some involvement with two organisations now proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000, Al-Muhajiroun and Muslims Against Crusades.
‘He describes MAC as having been affiliated to Al-Muhajiroun. He states that, “While I remain religious, my views are mainstream and moderate. I regret my past association and the publicity I had engaged in”. ’
But judges Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Supperstone rejected his lawyers’ claims that his passport should not have been removed.
A summary of the Home Office’s case against him revealed that the decision to remove his passport was based on continued involvement with terror groups and Islamic extremists.
Just Eat did not comment, but said it did not employ drivers directly.
Emma Webb, research fellow at The Henry Jackson Society think-tank, said the return of fanatics posed a challenge for security services.
‘We know that around 400 people who fought for Islamic State have returned, and such individuals are disproportionately involved in serious Islamist terror offences in the UK,’ she said.