UK

Teenager Kazi Islam jailed for 'terror grooming'

Kazi Islam Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Islam was sentenced at the Old Bailey

A 19-year-old man has been sentenced to eight years in a young offenders' institution for grooming a "vulnerable" young man to kill UK soldiers.

Kazi Islam, of Newham, East London, tried to persuade Harry Thomas, also 19, to buy ingredients for a pipe bomb and to attack soldiers.

He was convicted of preparing to commit acts of terrorism on 29 April.

The judge called his behaviour "callous" and "manipulative".

Islam was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120 and to be subject to a terrorism prevention requirement for 15 years.

The court heard Islam, of Meanley Road, had been inspired by the 2013 killing of Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

Islam encouraged Mr Thomas to start calling himself Haroon instead of Harry, and attempted to radicalise him with stories of innocent children murdered by military forces.

But the defendant, who denied wrongdoing, said he had only spoken to Mr Thomas about getting the components for a bomb as an "experiment" in radicalisation.

'Extremely vulnerable'

The trial heard Islam befriended Mr Thomas in October 2013 - five months after Fusilier Rigby was attacked in the street near Woolwich Barracks - after meeting him the previous year on an IT course at college.

A series of exchanges between the pair on BlackBerry Messenger and social media sites were uncovered when police raided the house in east London where Islam lived with his family, jurors were told.

In them, references were made to buying ingredients to make bombs.

The plot was said to have been unwittingly sabotaged by Mr Thomas, who failed to buy any of the right ingredients for a bomb and revealed what was going on to "a few friends".

The court also heard Islam had downloaded a document on explosives, but he said his interest in extremism was "purely for research purposes and to understand the political side of my religion".

Sentencing, judge Richard Marks QC told Islam he had shown neither remorse nor insight into the seriousness of what he had done.

His behaviour towards Mr Thomas, who suffered from Asperger's syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), was an aggravating feature, the judge said.

He continued: "Even on your own account, that you knew he was an extremely vulnerable young man, your treatment of him was as callous as it was manipulative."

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