A Somali Muslim who owned a stash of Islamic State propaganda and tried to pass it off as research into ‘how terrorism had affected his community’ is facing jail.
Abdirahman Abdullahi Mohamed, 42, kept a laptop under his bed containing copies of the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire and one of his files featured a thumbs up image with the slogan ‘I like ISIS’.
The father-of-two claimed he was trying to understand the issues involved but prosecutors said the collection showed he clearly had terrorist sympathies at the very least.
An Old Bailey jury convicted him of eight counts of possession of a document or record for terrorist purposes and cleared him of one charge of disseminating terrorist propaganda.
Judge Philip Katz adjourned sentence until 18 April while reports are prepared and said: ‘You were found in possession of material very clearly supportive of Islamic State.
‘Your excuses fell away when most of the country realised what sort of organisation they were.’
Earlier, Kelly Brocklehurst, prosecuting, said: ‘The so-called Islamic State is of course now a familiar name and does feature heavily in the documents found in the defendant’s possession.
‘It is not the Crown’s case that the defendant personally engaged in violence to kill or maim people in a political ideological or religious cause.
‘Rather he knowingly possessed documents of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism and that he provided a service to others.
Police officers searched the home Mohamed shares with his wife and two small children in Northolt, west London, on 21 July 2017.
‘Police located two laptops, one Samsung Galaxy smart phone and a USB memory stick,’ said Mr Brocklehurst.
‘When officers examined those devices what they found was a very large number of worrying documents.
‘Since 2014 IS have distributed slick and professional looking online magazines written in English to help spread its message amongst its followers in the west.’
The terror group’s propaganda wing distributes the ‘Rumiyah’ magazine and Al-Qaeda distributes ‘Inspire’.
On a Toshiba laptop found under Mohamed’s bed there were documents that he was not charged with.
Mr Brocklehurst argued these files showed Mohamed’s views, particularly a computer graphic of a thumbs up image with the slogan ‘I like ISIS’.
Several videos and files were also found on his Samsung Galaxy mobile phone.
Mr Brocklehurst said: ‘Some of these videos contain graphic scenes of public beheadings, dead bodies and executions by gunfire.’
Details of files found on a second Lenovo brand laptop, including e-books glorifying IS and a photo of an ‘IS-style execution.’
‘Found on this laptop was two particular photographic images, the first depicting two young males dressed in orange overalls with two young children dressed in black standing behind them,’ said the prosecutor.
‘The children appear to be holding weapons and is reminiscent of IS-style executions.’
The 42-year-old was arrested on 20 December 2017 and taken to Southwark police station and interviewed where he declined to answer questions.
In a statement given to police, Mohamed wrote: ‘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.’
Mr Brocklehurst added: ‘It beggars belief that the defendant possessed such material in order to maintain his knowledge of regional affairs or for any other good reason.
‘Such a collection by its content and quantity shows someone with terrorist sympathies at the very least.’
Mohamed, of Shadwell Drive, Northolt, denied but was convicted eight counts of possession of a document or record for terrorist purposes.
He was cleared of one count of dissemination of terrorist publications. Mohamed was bailed ahead of sentence on 18 April.
Source: Daily Mail