Scots IT programmer jailed for Manchester Arena terror post

Hama Siddiq. Picture: Police handout
Hama Siddiq. Picture: Police handout
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A Scottish IT programmer screamed “Allahu Akbar” as he was jailed for posting a vile rant on Facebook the day after the Manchester Arena bombing.

A Scottish IT programmer screamed “Allahu Akbar” as he was jailed for posting a vile rant on Facebook the day after the Manchester Arena bombing.

Hamza Siddiq – born Andrew Calladine – took to social media while colleagues held a minute’s silence to remember the 22 people killed in the terror attack on May 22, 2017.

The day after the atrocity, Siddiq posted on Facebook, blaming the UK for the attack and calling on Britain to release Muslim prisoners.

The post caused anger in the small Scottish town where he lived, and Siddiq, 37, was confronted in a local Tesco.

He fled to England where he was arrested by Nottinghamshire Police on May 26, 2017.

The court heard Siddiq was born into a Christian family but converted to Islam after reading Malcolm X and the Koran. The father-of-three also posted support for IS and expressed glee at terrorist attacks including the Charlie Hebdo massacre which left 12 dead.

He was charged with one count of encouraging terrorism and another of failing to disclose information to police, and pled guilty to both charges midway through a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

When asked how he pleaded, Siddiq told the court: “I have committed no crime under Sharia, the only law acceptable to Allah.

“I believe and accept Sharia and do not accept man-made law.

“However I accept that according to English and Welsh law I have committed this charge.”

Judge Melbourne Inman QC said: “The prosecution has said that you have long been a supporter of terrorism.

“In 2017 you said after the Manchester Arena bombing that Manchester should be apologising and not the other way around.

“You have expressed you support for IS and expressed support for them around the world.

“You made it clear that you reject the laws of this country and you consider that you live outside the law – given your support for terrorism that makes you a very dangerous individual.”

Siddiq was jailed for four-and-a-half years. He will also be monitored for ten years after release.

Detective Inspector Jon Scurr, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Special Branch, said: “The statement was inflammatory and inciting. It was certainly a statement that could have been interpreted by some as an encouragement to plan and carry out violent acts of terrorism.”