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Islamist extremists including youth who failed to report chemical bomb plot jailed

|News, Terrorism

Two Islamist extremists have been jailed for terrorist offences.

Custody photo of Al-Arfat Hassan
Al-Arfat Hassan

Al-Arfat Hassan, 21, from Enfield, was sentenced to a seven year extended sentence with at least five years in prison for possessing chemicals for a terrorist purpose . A youth, 17, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for failure to disclose his knowledge relating to the terrorist activities of Hassan. Both were also convicted of possession of an Islamic State video.

They were sentenced today at the Central Criminal Court.

The youth, from Leeds, failed to tell the police about Hassan’s terrorist activities despite being fully aware of Hassan’s intentions as evidenced by text messages and voicenotes shared between them.

They both viewed the Islamic State propaganda video which provided detailed instructions on manufacturing explosives, a bomb and killing people with knives.

The CPS presented evidence that Hassan and the youth were dedicated to Islamic State inspired extremist beliefs. This included showing the jury a video of Hassan where he held a samurai sword and exchanged messages with another person stating he was prepared for martyrdom.

He bought knives and purchased chemicals online that he intended to use to construct an improvised explosive device. One of the knives was of the same type used to carry out an execution featured in the Islamic State instructional video he and the youth had viewed.

He also created drill music videos with lyrics referring to Alan Henning, a British man taken hostage and killed by Islamic State, and James Foley, a US journalist captured and killed in Syria.

Hassan and the youth also downloaded a substantial amount of Islamic State video content that glorified terrorism.

In relation to the youth, the jury was shown evidence that he bought a knife and tried to purchase other knives, in addition to exchanging almost daily extremist messages and graphics over a number of months with Hassan.

Nick Price, Head of the CPS Counter Terrorism Division, said: “Al-Arfat Hassan claimed to be a provocative digital music creator, but the evidence was clear that he had a violent, extremist mindset and was taking active steps to prepare to commit terrorist acts.

“Hassan said he wanted to kill thousands, and he had a plan and location in mind. His collection of knives and items to create an explosive device showed these were not idle boasts.

“The youth in this case had a fixation with killing in the name of religion. He told the court that he had been supporting Al-Arfat Hassan through a difficult time when in fact he was enthusiastically encouraging him to carry out a bomb attack.

“Thanks to the work of the UK’s counter terrorism police, and dedicated CPS prosecutors, these individuals have been convicted of these dangerous crimes.”

Notes to editors

  • Al-Arfat Hassan [DOB: 6/12/2002] of Enfield admitted:
    • Possessing articles for terrorist purpose, contrary to section 57(1) of the Terrorism Act 2020, between 17 Jan 2022 and 4 March 2022 had an amount of hydrogen peroxide in circumstances which give rise to a reasonable suspicion his possession was for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism.
  • At his original January 2023 trial he was convicted of:
    • Possessing information, contrary to section 58(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2000, between 11 January 2022 and 27 Feb 2022
  • Youth [DOB: 16/10/2006] of Leeds admitted:
    • Failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism, contrary to Section 38B(1)b of the Terrorism Act 2000.
      Possessing a document or record containing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, between 31 December 2021 and 1 Feb 2022.

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