Four in court accused of encouraging support for IS

Four men from Luton have appeared in court charged with encouraging support for so-called Islamic State.

Mohammed Istiak Alamgir, 36, Yousaf Bashir, 35 and Rajib Khan, 37, are accused of making speeches which urged support for the militant group.

Mr Khan and another man Ziaur Rahman, 38, allegedly helped organise meetings where such speeches were made.

The men were remanded in custody until 8 January when they will appear at the Old Bailey.

During the hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court, prosecutor Mark Dawson accepted the alleged meetings had primarily been for prayer but said they had also been used to spread hatred.

The men were arrested following a joint operation by the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command and the Eastern Counter Terrorism and Intelligence Unit on 2 December.