- Haider Ahmed, now 19, found guilty of plotting attacks similar to London Bridge
- Boasted of ruining victims' faces and was in contact with ISIS members in Syria
- Court heard he had become radicalised by 'drill' videos he watched on YouTube
- Adopted a 'gangster' persona online but in reality he had a middle-class accent
- Ahmed was jailed for six years for conviction for preparing for a terrorist act
A teenager who planned an ISIS knife attack similar to the London Bridge and Westminster attacks has been jailed for six years.
Haider Ahmed, then a 17-year-old sixth form student, watched beheading videos at his parents' home in Redhill, Surrey before going to buy a hunting knife.
The court heard he had become radicalised by violent gang 'drill' videos he watched on YouTube at the age of 14, before graduating to ISIS violence.
Ahmed, now 19, adopted an online persona in which he talked like a gangster but really spoke with a middle-class accent and refused to swear.
His online obsession led to him taking over an encrypted channel on Telegram dedicated to ISIS at the age of 16 and failing most of his GCSEs.
It can now be disclosed that the channel put him in touch with an extensive ISIS recruitment network that had members in Libya, Kenya, India and the Philippines.
Ahmed's network included Mohamed Abdi Ali, a medical intern who used the name Abu Fidaa, who was arrested in Kenya, and Mohammed Siraj Uddin, the marketing manager for an oil company in Jaipur, was arrested in India.
Fidaa's network included Samata Ullah who was jailed in 2017 after police found he was giving tutorials on how to communicate on the dark web and storing information on James Bond-style memory sticks disguised as cufflinks.
Ahmed was so well connected to ISIS over the internet that he helped a man called Carl Drogo, who used the online name 'Freakazoid', to travel from Nigeria to Libya to join the group.
It can now be revealed that Ahmed was in touch with a notorious British recruiter for ISIS using the name 'Repunzel' who was actually called Omar Ali Hussain, originally from High Wycombe, Bucks.
Ahmed, who was studying business, IT, maths and law, at sixth form college, told Hussain: 'I'm doing well in college, however I've found out my purpose recently.'
He asked the ISIS recruiter: 'Can we do inghamasi [suicide operation] in the UK?'
'Na'am akhi [Yes brother],' Hussain replied. 'Yes u can.'
Sentencing him at Kingston Crown Court, Judge Peter Lodder QC, sentencing, noted the 'terrifyingly large and vicious looking weapon of the upmost dangerousness' that Ahmed had intended to use.
Ben Lloyd, prosecuting, said Ahmed had a 'callous disregard' for life and a 'long- standing interest in and commitment to the terrorist cause of Islamic State.'
Ahmed was 'no different' from the killers at London Bridge and Westminster, who launched their attacks a few months after his arrest, he added.
He was said to be a 'young man with a radical, dangerous and entrenched mindset' who would have been 'happy to die in the cause.'
Andy Hall QC for Ahmed said: 'We may be surprised at the extent to which this is going on in bedrooms across the home counties.
'Haider Ahmed was living a dull routine with little excitement but in his bedroom he can be anybody he chooses to be because of the anonymity of an online life - he can be the big 'I am', no longer a little kid.'
Det Chief Supt Kath Barnes, head of Counter-Terrorism Policing South-East, said: 'The almost unique factor in this case is the age that he was and the fact that his mindset at such a very young age was so extreme.'
Ahmed had pleaded guilty to six offences, including collecting property for terrorism, distributing ISIS propaganda and assisting a man using the pseudonym Carl Drogo to commit acts of terrorism abroad.
He was found guilty by a majority verdict of a further charge of preparing for a terrorist act, after he acquired a hunting knife which he planned to use in an attack.
Ahmed's plans were discovered when police arrested him as part of an inquiry into banking fraud in October 2016 and seized his phone.
Ahmed's knife had apparently been found by his mother, but eight months later he downloaded a video which showed the live disembowelling of a gagged prisoner and included advice on the type of knife to use.
He revelled in street attacks and also watched violent ISIS execution videos, including one he called the 'Slaughter House.'
The video was actually called 'The Making of Illusion' and featured ISIS gaolers hanging alleged spies upside down from meat hooks in an abattoir and then slitting their throats.
Ahmed had told one contact: 'I wanna tell u. I wanna do inghamasi [martyrdom operation] here inshAllah [god willing]. I'm 100% serious.
'We need to do this fisabililah [for the sake of god], they're eradicating our people. We won't stand for this. We will collapse their country as they're collapsing ours.
'I came home on train today and even imagined doing it. I'm not waiting for anything. I don't have any money for h [emigrating], so I'm gonna open the doors of jihad here inshAllah. If I had the equipment, I'd do it tomorrow inshAllah.'
Imdadul Karim, 24, from Streatham, South London, admitted supplying Ahmed with a 15ins Classic Heavyweight Hunting Knife but said he did not know what it was for and was acquitted by the jury.
Ahmed had asked Karim to sell him a knife because he was under 18 and could not buy it himself and Karim warned: 'Dnt gt caught with it. They'll says ISIS, lol.'
In messages, Ahmed wrote: 'I wanna ruin some people's faces or dip them in the leg, lol' adding that he was 'ready to spill juice.'
In Karim, he found an older man who was found with an 'arsenal 'of 11 knives, including the same type of knife that he supplied to Ahmed.
The pair would refer to knives as 'Rambos', after the Sylvester Stallone films, and 'Ramseys' [sic] after the chef Gordon Ramsay.
Karim, a former drug dealer who had turned to religion, posed with a large knife next to his groin, in an image found on a Micro SD card.
Judge Peter Lodder, QC, said: 'All of these offences occurred when you were aged 16 and 17. Now you are within a month of your twentieth birthday.
'In 2016 and 2017 you professed support for Islamic State, you were in regular communication with Islamic State sympathisers over networks which were encrypted, but were discovered because your electronic devices were seized.
'You collected, shared and discussed extreme material, involving details of martyrdom, the most efficient ways of killing in suicide attacks, weapons that may be used, parts of the body which are most vulnerable.
The judge continued: 'This material covered topics such as the Islamic State caliphate cyber army, a one way ticket to Jannah [heavan], brutal images of executions and the burning to death of a Jordanian pilot captured by Islamic State.
'Your communications referred to prominent Islamic State supporters such as Anjem Choudhury, to Islamic State terrorist attacks such as the cutting of the throat of a priest in France and to other major terrorist attacks.
'The knife you bought was a terrifyingly large and vicious looking weapon of the upmost dangerousness.'
The judge accepted that he should take into account the fact that the defendant was a child at the time of his offending.
Ahmed was handed 12 months concurrent for each of the distribution of terrorist propaganda and information counts, three years and eight months for helping Drogo travel to Syria and six years for the plans involving the knife.