London

Man made al-Shabab bid days after mental unit release

Trevor Mulindwa Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Trevor Mulindwa was arrested at Heathrow Airport

A Muslim convert with schizophrenia tried to travel to Somalia to join an Islamist terror group days after release from a mental health unit.

Trevor Mulindwa, 21, was arrested in a prayer room at Heathrow Airport before he could leave for Mogadishu on 17 September last year, a court has heard.

The convicted cocaine dealer had been released on licence from Springfield Hospital in south London.

He was sentenced to six years by a judge at Kingston Crown Court.

Mulindwa, from Halliwell Close, Mitcham, south London, was convicted of engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist at a trial last month.

The court heard he was arrested in the prayer room of Terminal Three.

He was attempting to fly out to join al-Shabab nine days after being released from the hospital where he spent just over 12 months of a 27-month sentence for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

While in the hospital he radicalised himself after circumventing restrictions on his internet access to view jihadist material, the court heard.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Trevor Mulindwa underwent 'self-radicalisation' at Springfield Hospital, the court heard

He also asked Muslim staff which mosques he should attend to become an "extremist".

Judge Peter Lodder QC said it was an unusual and serious case.

He said: "It is now clear that while in Springfield you underwent a period of intense self-radicalisation in which you repeatedly accessed, despite restrictions and close supervision, websites containing jihadi material - principally relating to al-Shabab activity in Somalia and Kenya - and films that glorified terrorism when you were prohibited from doing so.

"Furthermore you asked Muslim staff... about which mosques you could go to to become an extremist and you expressed an interest in becoming a suicide bomber."

He added: "Willing, radicalised recruits with British passports who offer themselves to callous and sinister organisations such as al-Shabab constitute a serious threat to the security of this country."

The court heard a psychiatric report found Mulindwa had a "low IQ and (was) vulnerable to exploitation".

Judge Lodder said the case would be referred to the parole board after Mulindwa had served half of the six-year prison sentence, and it would be up to them to decide when he was suitable for release on licence.

Defence barrister Julian Winship said that Mulindwa was being treated for his mental health problems and had stopped believing in Islam.

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