Sunday, April 30, 2017
ISIS supporter who posed as Osama Bin Laden for photos and posted beheading images online as he called for terror attacks on non-Muslims is jailed for four years
- Akeem Samuels, 22, openly promoted Islamic State on social site Instagram
- He also posed as Osama bin Laden and posted horrific images of dead bodies
- Threatened non-Muslims: 'We are your worst nightmare kuffar [unbelievers]'.
An ISIS supporter who posted videos on Instagram calling for terror attacks on Christians has been jailed for four years.
Akeem Samuels, 22, openly promoted Islamic State and mocked the 49 victims of the Orlando terror attack who were shot dead at a gay nightclub in June.
He also posed as Osama bin Laden in a bulletproof vest and posted horrific images of decapitated bodies.
Akeem Samuels, 22, openly promoted Islamic State and mocked the 49 victims of the Orlando terror attack who were shot dead at a gay nightclub in June
He threatened non-Muslim users with a picture of a hooded man and the message: 'We are your worst nightmare kuffar [unbelievers]'.
Samuels was arrested in August last year after counter-terrorism officers spotted some of the extremist messages while monitoring social media.
Samuels, who came to the UK from Jamaica as a child and converted to Islam in his teens, later admitted encouraging terrorism and stirring up hatred on Instagram between 31 December 2015 and 14 August 2016.
The Common Serjeant of London, judge Richard Marks QC, told him: 'The more support an organisation such as ISIS gets the more dangerous it will be and the further it will be prepared to go in furthering its aims and objectives.
'That is why offending such as this is so serious and why there needs to be a deterrent element to the sentence.
'This defendant posted a variety of communications intending they should encourage others to prepare or instigate acts of terrorism.
'The homicidal loathing of homosexual men by IS is well known and I am sure the posting of this message [about the Orlando attacks] was clearly intended to foment that irrational hatred.
'It is absolutely clear he held and still holds entrenched jihadi views. He offers not one word of apology or contrition.'
The court heard Samuels used a Virtual Private Network in an attempt to hide his IP address and identity while making the postings, which were open to anyone to view.
In December 2015 he posted a picture of a hooded mad with an ISIS flag covering the face and the message 'We are your worst nightmare kuffar'.
Another image showed a picture of a forearm being cut with a knife and the message: 'Shi'ism - cut it out before it spreads'.
In January 2016 he posted screenshots of proclamations by the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Soon after the Orlando massacre by Omar Mateen on 12 June last year, Samuels posted a video recording featuring his own voice saying in a mocking voice: 'All these hypocrites have started to come out "he's not from my religion, Islam doesn't practice that, Islam doesn't say you shoot gay people".
'The gays got punished by Sharia, killed, thrown off buildings by Sharia.'
Prosecutor Robin Sellers said: 'This is referring to the Orlando shootings at the gay nightclub and is this defendant suggesting that those who decry these shootings "not in my name" were in fact hypocrites because they were not adhering to Sharia law.'
Samuels also posted a fatwa by extremist Anwar al-Awlaki and a picture of knives with the claim that they were 'sharp enough to cut coconuts' - a derogatory term for a person who is black on the outside but white on the inside.
Two days before his arrest he posted a picture of a man holding the Islamic flag in his right hand with one finger of his left hand raised in an ISIS salute, and the message: 'I give the judgement that their warriors should be killed and their women and children should be taken as prisoners.'
One of the last posts before his arrests contained a silhouette of four people with machine guns and the message: 'Fight those who do not believe in Allah.'
The prosecutor said: 'This was clear encouragement when you look at it in the context of other material.'
Among the images found on his phone and laptop included a mock beheading of President Obama, the ISIS flag in Westminster and pictures of beheaded men.
One picture showed Samuels copying the pose of Osama Bin Laden in one of his famous photos.
Samuels has previous convictions for battery, possession of heroin and possession of cannabis between April 2009 and May 2010.
The court heard he was unemployed at the time of his arrest and spent most of his time online.
Samuels, of Proctor House in Picton Street, Camberwell, southeast London, admitted seven charges of encouraging terrorism and two counts of distributing material to stir up hatred on the grounds of religion or sexual orientation.
Friday, April 28, 2017
Counter-terrorism units have been making arrests on a near daily basis amid a huge effort to contain the threat to the UK.
Activity by police and security services has been running at a high level for a number of years as they attempt to defend Britain against dangers ranging from lone wolf strikes to complex, mass-casualty plots.
Figures show there were 260 arrests for terrorism-related offences last year.
This was a slight fall compared to the previous year, but the number remained high compared with other recent years.
In March it was revealed authorities have thwarted 13 potential attacks in less than four years.
The official threat level for international terrorism has been at severe, indicating an attack is "highly likely", since 2014.
While Islamic State remains a major focus of the work of police and intelligence agencies, security officials have repeatedly stressed that the threat posed from al Qaida remains.
Counter-terrorism authorities are also handling a rising number of cases of far-right extremism.
Although the pace of activity has been constant, Thursday's operations stood out from the relatively constant stream of arrests in recent years for different reasons.
Firstly, because of the location of the swoop in which a man was held in Whitehall. He was arrested just yards from the scene of last month's deadly attack by Khalid Masood in Westminster.
Then in an unconnected operation armed officers launched a raid on an address in north London in which a woman was shot.
Although police conduct thousands of firearms operations every year, incidents in which officers discharge their weapons are extremely rare.
Met chief says London arrests have 'contained' imminent terror threat
Met deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu said today that he believed police had 'contained' the threat from both the Willesden incident and the earlier terror arrest in Westminster.
Speaking outside Scotland Yard he said armed counter-terrorism officers using CS gas stormed a house in the Willesden area of the capital on Thursday evening which had been under surveillance, shooting a woman in her 20s
In a separate incident on Thursday, a man was arrested carrying knives near Prime Minister Theresa May's office in Westminster and he remains in police custody, Basu said.
His statement said: 'Yesterday was an extraordinary day in London so I wanted to update you on the two separate unconnected and ongoing counter terrorism investigations that happened in the last 24 hours.
'Given the horrors in London of a few short weeks ago - and our thoughts are still with the victims and survivors of that dreadful day
'I wanted to reassure the public that our increased activity to combat terrorism over the last two years continues - both by police and security services
'Activity continues around the clock to identify and stop these threats and we are making arrests on a near daily basis.
'I want to pay tribute to the bravery of my uniform and detective colleagues who are doing that work to keep us safe.
'So - to yesterday's events: In Whitehall, a 27-year-old man was arrested by armed officers from the Met's Specialist Firearms Command, who stopped and searched him as part of an ongoing counter terrorism investigation.
'He remains in our custody having been arrested for Terrorism Act Offences and possession of offensive weapons and there are two ongoing searches at addresses in London as part of that investigation.
'In our second and unrelated investigation, last night at just before 19:00hrs, our highly trained firearms officers carried out a specialist entry into an address in Harlesden Road that we had under observation as part of a current Counter Terrorism investigation.
'An armed entry was necessary due to the nature of the intelligence that we were dealing with, and involved armed officers firing CS into the address.
'During the course of that operation one of the subjects of that operation - a woman - was shot by police - she remains in hospital. Her condition is serious but stable. Because of her condition she has not yet been arrested. We are monitoring her condition closely.
'As is routine we have informed the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
'In total six people have now been arrested in connection with that investigation - five at or near the address and one in Kent.
'The two further arrests were made when a man and a woman - both aged 28 - returned to the address later last night.
'Searches are ongoing at three London addresses - including Harlesden Road - as part of this investigation.
'Due to these arrests that we have made, I believe that we have contained the threats that they posed.
'With the attack in Westminster on 22 March so fresh in people's minds, I would like to reassure everyone that across the country officers are working round the clock to identify those people who intend to commit acts of terror.
'After that attack, we increased the number of officers on duty patrolling at key locations - and that continues as we police against the backdrop of a severe terrorist threat.
'There are constant acts of immense bravery by officers - armed and unarmed - those that the public see when our officers run towards danger, just like yesterday, but a huge amount of unseen work that the public will never know about from us and our brilliant security services.
'I would also like to thank the public for their continued help and support. No matter how hard we try it is communities that will defeat terrorism and we rely on your vigilance.
Please continue to let us know of any suspicions or concerns you may have. No call is ever a waste of our time and every call is treated seriously and confidentially and investigated.
'We will continue to work with all communities to defeat terrorists together - we will not allow common criminals to spread discord and fear.
And lastly can I thank the public for their bravery and help; for remaining calm and tolerant and being a fantastic advert worldwide for democracy, diversity and freedom.'
moment burka-wearing woman screams as anti-terror police drag her off a bus and bundle her into a doorway in raid linked to arrests that 'foiled active plot' in north London
- MailOnline footage shows young Muslim woman swamped by police
- Undercover officers on bus and at bus stop grabbed her streets from terror raid
- Woman was pulled into doorway by officers and had all her bags searched
- She was not arrested but was travelling with 20-year-old man who was
- Incident was in neighbouring street to where Muslim woman, 20, was shot
This is the moment a woman in a burka was dragged off a packed bus by undercover police in the same operation that led to another young female Muslim being shot streets away.
Exclusive MailOnline footage shows the bus passenger in Muslim dress, believed to be in her early 20s, screaming as at least five officers snatched her off public transport on Willesden High Road last night.
She was bundled into a doorway next to a convenience store, forced to lower her veil to show her face and had her bags searched after being trailed by undercover police.
Scotland Yard told MailOnline that she has not been arrested - but it is understood that she was grabbed while with a 20-year-old man who was.
Video of the bus raid shows it was pre-planned with more than a dozen officers grabbing and swamping the woman, including some who were travelling on public transport with her.
The man also on board is understood to have run off but was quickly arrested by more police nearby.
Drama: This is the moment a woman in a burka was dragged off a packed bus by undercover police in synchronised terror raids
Orders: Undercover police in balaclavas flooded Willesden High Road and moved the bus the woman was on away
In a separate raid a woman, also in a burka, was wrestled by police in Willesden High Street
She had got off the 266 bus, which was quickly waved on by counter-terror officers at the scene.
Officers went through her bags but she was released after being 'spoken to', the Met said.
Witness Eddie, who filmed the arrest, said: 'They pulled her off the 98 bus, it comes from Oxford Street.
'They were searching her bags. They made her take the veil off while they searched her in a doorway.
'As she came off more police came off directly behind her. About five minutes before a guy was standing directly next to the bus stop with an ear piece.
'I thought he was lost but he was obviously orchestrating the entire operation.'
Robert Murphy, 43, a bookmaker said the cops had suddenly put balaclava masks on moments before detaining the suspect.
He said: 'I was outside the pub having a cigarette and it was obvious that something was going to happen.
'The police were dressed like normal fellas and then all of a sudden they put on balaclavas and they rushed at the woman.
'They kicked the door in and burst inside with her.
'They wouldn't let any busses stop afterwards, the woman was being searched for about half an hour.
'Then a black Range Rover pulled up and they put her inside and took her away.'
Half a mile away in a near-simultaneous raid more elite Met officers smashed through the door, ran up to the first floor flat and then threw in CS canisters before 'at least six' shots rang out including two that shattered an upstairs window.
The 20-year-old Muslim woman shot by police as they foiled an 'active terror plot' was taken away on a stretcher in her blood-soaked burka yelling: 'Don't touch my body'.
The suspect screamed 'get off - do not touch me' as they tried to strip off her clothes and treat her wounds after the raid in Willesden, north London, at 7pm last night.
Neighbours heard a woman 'screaming' inside before the young suspect lay on the pavement bleeding from her arm and stomach while still wearing her burka.
One said: 'Doctors were trying to help her. She was shouting: 'Do not touch me, do not touch my body'.'
Another witness who saw the raid's aftermath said: 'They brought down a lady in a black burka. She had been shot the paramedics stripped off her clothing to get access to the wounded areas.'
Pictured: This is the moment the 20-year-old woman shot by police was taken away on a paramedic's gurney covered in blood and still wearing her burka
Raid: This is the moment anti-terror police stormed a house and shot a woman in her 20s in Willesden north London last night
Bullet holes in the upstairs window of a property in Willesden, North London which was raided by anti-terror police yesterday
The woman - believed to be the first female terror suspect in UK history to be shot by police - was rushed to hospital where she remains in a serious but stable condition and is too unwell to be arrested under the terrorism act.
A 16-year-old boy and a 20-year-old woman were arrested inside the Willesden house and a man, 20, was arrested nearby. A couple, both 28, were held last night as they arrived home. Simultaneously a woman, 43, was arrested at an address in Kent.
Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu said today that the raids meant an 'active' terror plot had been foiled - but had nothing to with the arrest of a 27-year-old with a 'rucksack of knives' grabbed on Whitehall yesterday.
Residents of Harlesden Road say that the property was being watched on the morning of the raid and MI5 were also 'heavily' involved in the operation, a security source told MailOnline.
A 16-year-old boy and and a 20-year-old woman were arrested inside the Willesden house and a man, 20, was arrested nearby.
A couple, both 28, were held last night as they arrived home. Simultaneously a woman, 43, was arrested at an address in Kent.
All were held on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorist acts - but the shot woman is currently too ill to be arrested.