Terror Accused ‘Had Islamic State and Al-Qaida Magazines’

A Somali Muslim had numerous Islamic State and al Qaida magazines on electronic devices, including articles on how to carry out terrorist attacks using vehicles and knives to create “a trail of carnage”, a court heard.

Police seized two laptops, a mobile phone and a USB memory stick after searching the home of Abdirahman Mohamed in Middlesex in July 2017, prosecutors said.

Once the equipment was forensically analysed, officers found electronic copies of al Qaida magazine Inspire and Islamic State magazine Rumiyah, as well as other documents including “safety and security guidelines for Lone Wolf Mujahideen”, the court heard.

A jury of seven women and five men at the Old Bailey heard on Thursday that Mohamed had also sent a link via a chat room to an 11-minute video created by Islamic State which included images of fighters, burning bodies and executions.

The 42-year-old denies 10 counts of possessing a document or record for terrorist purposes all dating between July 2011 and July 2017, and one count of disseminating terrorist publications in March 2016.

Prosecutor Kelly Brocklehurst said while Mohamed was not engaged in violence he possessed documents likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

Mr Brocklehurst added: “It is not the Crown’s case that the defendant personally engaged in, or was about to engage in, violence to kill or maim people in a political, ideological or religious cause.

“Rather the Crown say he knowingly possessed a number of documents that the Crown say are the kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

“This defendant provided a service to another, enabling them to look at a terrorist publication.”

Mr Brocklehurst told the jury Mohamed had two electronic copies of al Qaida’s Inspire on a Toshiba laptop, which included articles called “destroying buildings” and “training with the AK 2”.

The court also heard Mohamed, of Shadwell Drive, Northolt, London, had copies of Rumiyah on a Samsung Galaxy mobile phone and a USB stick containing a series articles named “just terror tactics”.

These focused on vehicle attacks, knife attacks and hostage taking, and talked about causing “as much carnage and terror as possible” and leaving behind a “trail of carnage”.

Mr Brocklehurst said: “The contents of the magazines in particular provide worrying articles with useful tips and guidance on how those who are maybe contemplating carrying out a terrorist attack could achieve their aim.”

The jury was told Mohamed would exchange messages with people while visiting chat rooms under the name Concerned Muslim.

Mr Brocklehurst said Mohamed had used the chat room service to send the link to the Islamic State video in March 2016.

He told the court the video showed IS fighters, burning bodies and imagery linked to executions.

Mr Brocklehurst said Mohamed also sent messages to people through the chat rooms suggesting he was “sympathetic” to Islamic State.

He added: “Some messages show this defendant is not just someone who is curious or just interested in what’s happening in Somalia and what Islamic State is doing and what Al-Shabaab is doing but messages that the Crown say show he is someone who supports and is sympathetic to their aims.”

Mr Brocklehurst said Mohamed gave no comment when interviewed by police but provided a prepared written statement which said: “I am a Somali Muslim, my community had been affected by terrorism.

“The document was to help me understand the issues involved and for my own general interest and for me to form a view on what is happening.”

The trial continues.