Two men who brazenly handed out pro Islamic State literature on London’s busiest shopping street were found guilty of terrorism offences in court yesterday.
The case is the first successful prosecution brought for supporting Islamic State (IS) in the UK.
Ibrahim Anderson, 38 — a convert to Islam — and Shah Jahan Khan, 63, both form Luton, were pictured encouraging support for the recently established “so-called caliphate” the court heard.
Breitbart London was the first news outfit to report the shocking scenes on London’s busy Oxford Street in August 2014. The men stood before signs that read “Khilafah” (caliphate) “The Dawn of a new Era” handing out flyers which read:
“After many attempts and great sacrifices from the Ummah of Islam throughout the world, the Muslims with the help of Allah have announced the re-establishment of the Khilafah and appointed an Imam as Khaleef.”
Police later raided Anderson’s home after two Muslim women reported him to the police. There they found a notebook containing instructions for travel to Syria to support jihad.
Mark Seymour, for the prosecution, told the jury: “These three documents taken together clearly contained information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism — namely by going to Syria to fight for Isis.”
According to the Grantham Journal, he added: “These defendants, who both played their part as members of the group which invited support for IS in Oxford Street on August 9 2014, would have been well aware that this is what they were doing.”
Mr. Anderson and Mr. Khan both denied charges of inviting support for a proscribed organisation and Anderson also denied possessing information of a kind useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.
Mr. Anderson claimbed he was merely “practicing his religion” and excercising he “freedom of speech”. He said he had not read the leaflets he was handing out and did not know the other people at the stall.
“I wish to practice the religion of Islam but this is simply my freedom of speech,” he said.
The father-of-five, who represented himself in court, appealed to jurors to “see past his beard” and “see who I really am — a devoted father to my family”.
The jury deliberated for eight hours before finding the pair guilty. The men will be sentenced at a later date.