A British supporter of Islamic State has been found guilty of murdering an imam who had his head smashed a hammer in Rochdale last year.
Mohammed Syeedy, 21, acted as a getaway driver for Mohammed Kadir, 24, who bludgeoned imam Jalal Uddin, 71, to death. The court heard that Mr Syeedy was consumed with hatred of Mr Uddin (pictured) because he practiced a form of Islamic faith healing that Islamic State considers “black magic”.
Sky News reports Mr Kadir fled the UK three days after the killing and is believed to have joined the terror group in Syria.
The pair stalked the imam, calling him “Voldemort” after the evil wizard in Harry Potter, and eventually decided to kill him after he appeared in a photograph with Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk.
The men bludgeoned Mr Uddin to death in a park because they decided he needed to be “punished” for his beliefs.
They had initially tried to have him deported back to Bangladesh by telling authorities he had overstaying his visa, but members of the local community moved him from house to house to stop authorities finding him.
However, after he was pictured with the local MP, the pair decided it would be too difficult to have him deported.
A Whatsapp message sent to Mr Syeedy’s phone with the photograph of Mr Uddin with the MP read: “Oh crap… Voldemort never gonna be busted by immigration now”.
Mr Uddin’s injuries were so severe that his dentures were broken inside his head and the imprint of a hammer was left on his forehead.
Mr Syeedy, who once worked as a Manchester United steward, denied being an Islamic State supporter, despite extremist material being found on his phone, including a photograph of himself posing with a black flag with Arabic writing and raising his index finger – a sign many claim to be a symbol of Islamic State allegiance.
The jury found him guilty after four hours of deliberations.