Cardiff student supported ISIS and Al-Qaeda and deeply committed to terrorism
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A student who was “deeply committed” to supporting Isis and Al-Qaeda had a terrorist manual on his phone.
Student Zakaria Afey, from Cardiff, also shared a song called Virgins of Paradise while his manual could be used to train would-be terrorists on “how to commit acts of terror and how to remain undetected while living in the West”.
The 20-year-old, from St Mellons, pleaded guilty to disseminating the nasheed – a chanted song form popular throughout the Islamic world – on January 12, 2017, on the basis he was “reckless”.
He also admitted to having the terrorist manual How To Survive In The West on May 15, 2017.
The extremist material was found on the defendant’s Samsung Galaxy phone after it was seized in a search of his home in October 2017.
Afey confirmed it was his and handed over the password to the handset, asking if the search was related to terrorism, the Old Bailey heard.
He told officers he was “interested in my religion” and did “not support terrorism in any way”.
Afey initially denied the charges against him but changed his plea on the second day of his trial at the Old Bailey.
Sentencing on Thursday Judge Rebecca Poulet QC said: “This was extremist literature reflecting dangerous and cruel beliefs.”
Afey had sympathy and support for Isis and Al-Qaeda, the court heard.
“Overall I do assess you as being deeply committed to this cause,” Judge Poulet said as she jailed him for a total of 30 months. He was also handed a one-year extended licence period.
The police investigation into Afey was sparked by the arrest in February 2017 of four young men who were later convicted of terrorism offences.
Their telephones were seized and communications with Afey were revealed through “painstaking police work”.
The court was told Afey accepted he knew that other men involved in his social media chat group had intended to travel to Syria.
Source: Wales Online