Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham teen set up terror channel while on bail

Westminster Magistrates Court
Image caption The teenager was first arrested at Birmingham Airport as he tried to check in for a flight to Istanbul

A 16-year-old boy caught trying to travel to join a terror group set up a social media channel to provide tips about hacking.

The teenager, who cannot be named, was arrested on June 12 last year after booking a flight to Istanbul to join the extremist Nusra Front in Syria.

While on bail, he set up the channel sharing terror training manuals.

At Westminster Magistrates' Court, the boy, from Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, admitted four further terror offences.

Sitting as a youth court on Tuesday, the teenager admitted one count of terrorist training, two counts of distributing terrorist publications and one count of possession of articles for a terrorist purpose.

It is in addition to the charge of preparation of terrorist acts for attempting to travel to Syria, which he admitted in January.

He was remanded in custody to be sentenced at the Old Bailey on 17 April.

Between the end of November and January he set up the channel on messaging app Telegram, he also shared 40 videos, including one of Fusilier Lee Rigby's killer Michael Adebolajo.

Matthew Brook, prosecuting, told the court: "On that channel he posted 26 lessons or tutorials, some of those about the best operating systems to be used for hacking.

"Other lessons were how to hack other people's computers, how to take control of other people's computers remotely ... and how to set up ransomware."

His tutorials included how to access the dark web and make a petrol bomb.

Among the videos he shared were some "glorifying the Islamic State and showing somebody being executed", Mr Brook said.

Chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said she was "concerned" by those posts and decided the offences were so serious he should be sentenced at a crown court.

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