An alleged Islamist terror plotter has told an English court he viewed terrorist videos only as “research” and that the Islamic State was fabricated by the U.S. to encourage Islamophobia.
26-year-old Hisham Muhammad, who is alleged to have been modifying a drone to drop a “harmful device” and planning an armed “lone wolf attack”, possibly against members of the military or police officers, said of the Islamic State: “I don’t believe it exists, I believe it was created by America. I believe it was created by America to take away the rights of Muslims.”
“I have long held the suspicion as a devout Muslim that much of the material about Islamic State is misrepresented or exaggerated in order to increase Islamophobia, especially in countries like the UK where there is a desire to restrict Muslim immigration,” Muhammed said, according to a Bury Times court report, adding that there needs to be “a lot more research” on the terror organisation.
Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC told the court Muhammed had watched scores of extremist videos including “nasheed” chants, covering such themes as “jihadis speaking of holy war” and including such lyrics as “by the knife of horror we cut their necks”.
“You are not conducting research, you are motivating yourself,” Whyte said of Muhammed, who also performed web searches on suicide belts and machetes.
“It’s not true, it’s not true”, he responded.
The Whitfield resident, who viewed extremist material “umpteen” times, according to Whyte, said he did not support the songs’ sentiments, and merely “liked the tune”.
“I listen to gangster rap but I don’t support it,” he claimed by way of explanation.
The trial continues.