Terror-grooming teenager faces jail

Kazi Islam tried to get the other youth to buy ingredients for a pipe bomb. Picture: PA
Kazi Islam tried to get the other youth to buy ingredients for a pipe bomb. Picture: PA
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A TEENAGE terrorist is facing jail for grooming a young man with learning difficulties to carry out a Lee Rigby copycat killing.

Kazi Islam, 18, tried to persuade 19-year-old Harry Thomas to buy the ingredients for a pipe bomb and to attack one or more soldiers with a kitchen knife or meat cleaver on his command.

He encouraged the older youth to start calling himself Haroon instead of Harry and attempted to radicalise him with stories of innocent children murdered by military forces.

But Islam’s schemes were foiled when Mr Thomas failed to buy any of the right ingredients for a bomb and let slip to “a few friends” what they were up to.

Islam had denied any wrongdoing, saying that he only talked to Mr Thomas about getting the ingredients for a bomb as an “experiment” in radicalisation.

But following a trial at the Old Bailey, the teenager, of Newham, east London, was found guilty of engaging in the preparation of terrorist acts.

He will be sentenced later by judge Richard Marks, who has already warned him that jail is “inevitable”.

The trial yesterday heard about a series of exchanges on BlackBerry Messenger and social media sites, which were uncovered when police raided the house where Islam lived with his family.

In November 2013, Islam messaged Mr Thomas: “Did u get the ingredients mate?”

Thomas replied he got “some pipes”, but during the course of the conversation it appeared he had got the wrong ones.

In December 2013, Mr Thomas asked, “Who’re we gonna blow up” and Islam replied, “No-one”, adding: “I’ll tell you wen I see you”.

Later that month, Islam tried to disguise the plot with code words, telling Mr Thomas: “So we need to work on this cake.”

But Mr Thomas, failing to grasp the subtlety, responded: “cake? U mean the b o m b.”

Islam ordered Mr Thomas not to talk to anyone after the older youth admitted he had “only told a few mates”, the court heard. Islam told him: “Don’t tell anyone … just keep your mouth shut … The brothers are gonna come after me and kill me and they’re gonna kill u as well.”

The practising Muslim said he first became interested in issues surrounding Afghanistan and Iraq because he wanted to find out why Fusilier Rigby had been attacked outside his Woolwich barracks in May 2013.

For “research purposes”, he attended meetings and talks held by banned extremist group al-Muhajiroun, viewed Jihadist propaganda online and downloaded a document entitled How To Make Semtex, he said.

He said he met Mr Thomas on an IT course at college. His experiment with him was inspired by Nicky Reilly – an Asperger’s syndrome sufferer like Mr Thomas – who had been involved in a failed suicide bombing in Exeter, Islam said.