EDL bomb hoax accused 'wanted to get under their skin'

A man who sent a message to the English Defence League saying its Bristol march was going to be bombed has told a jury he thought it would be ignored.

Sakander Mahmood, 26, from Sheffield, admits sending the right-wing group a hoax message through their website.

But the father-of-five denies communicating a bomb hoax.

He told Sheffield Crown Court that at the time he had thought the EDL would "get a bit wound up".

He said: "I wanted to get under their skin a bit and thought they would not take it seriously."

Mr Mahmood, of Firth Park, sent a message which read: "14th July in Bristol, You are getting bombed.

'My home city'

Mr Mahmood said: "I thought they'd get this kind of stuff all the time and they would ignore it."

The taxi driver added that he had no idea what he did would be taken seriously.

"If that had occurred to me I wouldn't have dared to do it," he said.

The defendant told the jury he had no interest in Islamic politics and was not very religious.

Mr Mahmood said he had only heard of the EDL for the first time about a month before he sent the message on 10 July last year.

He said this was when a customer in his cab, who mentioned the organisation, questioned him about why he was wearing an England football shirt.

Mr Mahmood said this was just after England had defeated Norway and he was celebrating.

"I was born here," he said. "This is my home city. I felt humiliated."

Nail bomb

The jury has heard that the EDL took the message "very seriously" and informed anti-terror police.

The organisation had started to report all bomb hoaxes following reports of a car which had been stopped on the M1 a week or so before the email was received.

These reports said the car apparently contained a nail bomb intended for use against the EDL.

Mr Mahmood told the jury he had looked at news reports of the motorway incident on the internet before sending his message to the EDL.

But he said those involved in that incident were "nutters".

The trial continues.

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