- Mohammed Hussain Syeedy, 21, murdered Jalal Uddin in Rochdale
- Mr Uddin, a respected imam, was bludgeoned to death in February
- Jury took four hours to convict him after a four week trial in Manchester
- Accomplice Mohammed Kadir, 24, is believed to have fled to Syria
Mohammed Syeedy has been convicted of murdering an imam who he and friend believed practised 'black magic'
A British ISIS supporter has been jailed for life for stalking and murdering an imam who had his head caved in with a hammer.
Mohammed Syeedy, 21, was consumed by hatred of Jalal Uddin, 71, because he practised a form of Islamic healing in Rochdale's Bangladeshi community which the terror group consider 'black magic'.
Former Manchester United steward Syeedy acted as getaway driver for another man, Mohammed Kadir, 24, who bludgeoned Mr Uddin to death in a children's play area on the early evening of February 18.
Syeedy was today handed a life sentence and ordered to serve a minimum of 24 years.
Kadir fled the UK three days after the killing and it is thought he may now be in Syria.
The pair developed a hatred of Mr Uddin because he used a form of healing involving amulets, known as taweez, which are said to bring good fortune.
They stalked Mr Uddin for six months and called him 'Voldemort',the evil wizard in Harry Potter, because they saw his faith healing as 'black magic', the trial heard.
British ISIS supporter Syeedy (left) was found guilty of stalking and murdering Imam Jalal Uddin (right) who had his head caved in with a hammer
Evidence: Photographs show Syeedy posting with a flag of the Shahada - the Muslim profession of faith - draped over road signs in Rochdale (shown above)
Their intention turned to murder after they saw a photograph of the former imam – who they regarded as a 'magician' - with Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk at the end of last year.
Mr Uddin, who was 71 at the time of his death, was bludgeoned in a park in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, in a horrific attack with a hammer because they believed that he was practicing 'black magic' and needed to be 'punished'.
The jury of six men and six women today found the defendant guilty of murder after four hours of deliberations.
Jailing Syeedy today, judge Sir David Maddison told him: 'You and your co accused considered [taweez] to be a form of black magic that could not be tolerated in Islam.
'You were involved in a number of plots.
The first plot was to get Jalal Uddin deported, the second was to report him to the mosque committee. The final plot was either kill him or to cause extremely serious harm to him.
The judge added: 'It seems to me this was a case of two members of the Muslim faith killing another member of the Muslim faith solely because they disagreed with a particular act undertaken by that person.'
Syeedy held his hands to his face in shock after the foreman delivered the verdict after about four hours of jury deliberations.
He later shook his head several times with his face covered as he sat down.
As part of his defence, Syeedy claimed that he had been personally affected by the acts of ISIS, after the death of taxi driver Alan Henning who was his older brother's good friend, branding them as 'disgusting' in his evidence.
He also travelled as part of an aid convoy, Rochdale to Syria, in 2013, where the defence suppose that he was radicalised.
The pair were said to have sympathised with the ISIS ideology that Taweez are 'black magic' and the magicians practicing it should be killed.
They and their associates carried out secret surveillance to establish where Mr Uddin was living and in August 2015 raided the mosque where he kept his books of 'spells' and other precious religious materials.
On September 6 'covertly-recorded' footage of Mr Uddin was sent to Syeedy's phone, and showed the victim, wearing a white head scarf, walking past the window.
Syeedy and Kadir initially plotted to report Mr Uddin to immigration authorities in the hope he would be deported back to Bangladesh for overstaying his visa.
A photograph found on Mohammed Hussain Syeedy's mobile phone shows him posing with a flag in Rochdale and performing what prosecutors claim is an 'ISIS-salute' alongside a friend
He was supported by members of the community, moving from property to property in fear for being discovered by the immigration authorities.
However the plan to get Mr Uddin deported was cast aside after he was pictured with Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, leading them to believe that deportation would be difficult.
A WhatsApp message sent to Syeedy's phone along with the photograph of the victim with the MP read: 'Oh c**p… Voldemort never gonna be busted by immigration now'.
Believing that getting Mr Uddin deported would be difficult, the pair plotted to kill him. On February 18 this year, the pair met up and travelled to the Jalalia Mosque where they saw Mr Uddin.
They then stalked him to a property on South Street in Syeedy's black Astra, with the lights turned off so Mr Uddin wouldn't recognise them.
Manchester Crown Court heard how Syeedy travelled in a convoy to Syria in December 2013, shortly after his elder brother left with Alan Henning, 47, pictured, on a similar mission
Just after 8.30pm Mr Uddin left the property, and entered a park further up the road. Syeedy dropped Kadir off, and the pair were separated for less than two minutes before Kadir was back in his car.
The prosecution say that this was to allow Kadir to 'attack at speed'. Mr Uddin suffered severe head injuries, with his dentures being broken in half inside his mouth and having the imprint of a hammer head on his forehead.
Syeedy, who pleaded not guilty to both murder and manslaughter, denies the fact that he is an ISIS supporter, despite extremist material being found on his mobile phone.
Among these were photographs of Syeedy and his associates raising index figure salutes, which are said to signify an allegiance to ISIS, it is claimed.
Kadir travelled to Instanbul after the killing and is believed to had fled to Syria three days after killing Mr Uddin.
He has a history of posting ISIS-related material online. In February 2015, he updated his profile picture on a social network with an image containing a quote about armies carrying black flags.
He also posted a photograph of a lounge with a television in the background showing an image of an ISIS flag.
He also posted an English-language nasheed produced by ISIS with the chorus: "We are the soldiers that fight in the day and the night."