- Iftikhar Ali, 19, was jailed for more than three years for texts glorifying terrorism
- Old Bailey heard that teen downloaded guide on how to sneak abroad to join ISIS
- Ali, from High Wycombe, was friends with convicted terrorist Taha Hussain
Iftikhar Ali, 19, was jailed for more than three years for sending texts glorifying terrorism and downloading a document containing advice on how to sneak abroad to join ISIS
A teenager who sent WhatsApp text messages glorifying terrorism has been locked up for more than three years.
Iftikhar Ali was charged with 12 counts of transmission of a terrorism publication following his arrest in December 2016.
A judge sitting at the Old Bailey heard that the 19-year-old from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, sent the text messages between September and October 2015.
He was arrested on March 10, 2016, over a payment of £140 via Western Union to a man in Turkey, which he claimed in police interviews was for 'charitable purposes'.
After his arrest, counter terrorism officers discovered he had typed 'Kuffar', 'Jihad' and 'Sharia4UK' into his phone so much the terms were stored in the device's user dictionary.
He had also downloaded a 148-page document called 'Advice for those doing Hijrah', which contains advice about how to sneak abroad to join ISIS on his Sony Xperia.
At the time of his arrest, Ali had been living at home and had worked as a shop assistant for Sainsbury's.
In December 2015, Ali had been identified by the Prevent team but he failed to engage with them.
He was friends with convicted terrorist Taha Hussain, who was filmed driving past Windsor Castle shouting 'Allahu akbar' and 'burn in hell'.
The teen, from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, had been identified by the Prevent team in December 2015 but he failed to engage with them
Prosecutor Mark Paltenghi previously said: 'It is the Crown's case that although he was young, he had already become a radicalised proponent and supporter of extreme Islamism.'
He was sentenced to three years and six months at a Young Offenders Institution.
Detective Superintendent Nigel Doak, Head of Investigations at CTP South East, said: 'Using social media to share messages which glorify terrorism and spread propaganda which clearly encourages others to commit terrorist acts, is unacceptable.
'It is clear from the evidence that has been presented that Ali had displayed support for Islamist ideology and today's sentencing sends out a strong message that actions such as those carried out by Ali will not be tolerated.
After his arrest, counter terrorism officers discovered he had typed 'Kuffar', 'Jihad' and 'Sharia4UK' into his phone so much the terms were stored in the device's user dictionary
'Officers and staff in Counter Terrorism Policing will continue to identify those responsible for sharing this kind of content, gather evidence and bring them before the courts, so that they may face justice. We will be relentless in our efforts to keep people safe.
'If you have concerns about a loved one then you can seek help either through your local police by calling 101 or visit www.preventtragedies.co.uk for information on how to spot the signs and prevent vulnerable people being targeted.
'We want to prevent potential tragedies and we need the support of communities in doing this.
'If you see or hear something that could be terrorist related, act on your instincts and call the police in confidence on 0800 789 321. In an emergency, always dial 999.
Visit gov.uk/ACT for more information, including how to report extremist or terrorist content that you come across online.'