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Leeds mum sentenced after failing to report mass terror plot to police

A mother from Leeds was convicted of failing to report plans for a mass terrorist attack to the police.

Nabeela Anjum, 48, did not report her son Sameer Anjum to the police, despite knowing he had exchanged messages with another man who planned to carry out a meal. terrorist attack .

Earlier this year, rapper Al-Arfat Hassan, 21, who used his music to “glorify” Islamic State crimes, was convicted after buying chemicals online to build an improvised explosive device and possessing terrorist material – a video showing how to kill a prisoner with knives and how to make an improvised explosive device.

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He was jailed in February at the Old Bailey for five years, with a further two years on licence.

His co-accused, Sameer Anjum, 17, from Leeds, who can now be named after reporting restrictions were lifted, was jailed for two-and-a-half years after failing to disclose information about his terrorist acts Hassan and owns. terrorist material – the same video that Hassan had.

Hassan and Anjum had exchanged extremist messages, graphics and voice notes almost daily over several months.

Anjum’s mother, Nabeela Anjum, has now been convicted of failing to disclose information about Hassan’s activities, which she learned about from her son.

The 48-year-old woman was found guilty last Wednesday (8 May) following a trial at Leeds Crown Court where she had denied any knowledge of the activities. However, a jury was shown detailed messages in which the woman pleaded with her son to stop communicating with Hassan. In a message after Hassan’s arrest, she told her teenage son: “Please get rid of everything on your phone…”

Hassan’s girlfriend, Tasnia Ahmed, 21, from Tower Hamlets, east London, was also convicted of failing to report her boyfriend to the police despite knowing he planned to carry out an attack with victims in meal using a knife or bomb, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). ) said.

Ahmed was found guilty following a separate trial at Woolwich Crown Court which ended on Thursday 25 April. She will be sentenced at the same court on June 3.

Evidence presented during Ahmed’s trial showed that she had been in a relationship with Hassan since October 2021 and had exchanged more than 85,000 text messages in about three months.

In some of these messages, Hassan revealed his desire to carry out a terrorist attack, writing: “I have to carry it out, I know the perfect place where millions, millions of people are…”

Ahmed told him he would “die for a good cause”, adding “I’ll support you if that’s what you really want”. She also wrote that she would buy him a better knife.

Mobile phone evidence found Ahmed and her cousins ​​referred to Hassan as a “bomb man” and a “terrorist” in their exchanges, making it clear she was aware of her partner’s terrorist activities.

But despite being aware of Hassan’s intentions and plans since at least November 2021, Ahmed failed to report this to the police as required by law.

Hassan’s phones were seized at Heathrow Airport in February 2022 and during an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service he was arrested in March 2022. This led to the discovery of Ahmed’s failure to report information about acts of terror. She was interviewed in June 2022 and charges against her were authorized by the CPS Counter Terrorism Division the following month.

Ahmed and Anjum were not known.

Nick Price, head of the SPC’s Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism Division, said: “These two women put the public’s safety at risk by blindly choosing not to report acts of terror openly discussed and planned by those they know – that is behavior criminal. and illegal. When presented with evidence in court, juries in both cases found that these women had acted illegally and convicted them.

“Tasnia Ahmed, in particular, knew of Hassan’s extremist beliefs. He had repeatedly told her of his intention to carry out a knife or bomb attack – she indulged and talked about it as if it was normal behaviour. Nabeela Anjum sought to protect her son, but in trying to do so, she found herself armed with knowledge of terrorist activities that she knew needed to be reported.

“The fact that these women have been brought to justice should act as a deterrent to anyone with knowledge of terrorist activities. The CPS will not hesitate to work with the police to prosecute those who break the law in this way.”

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