Beds, Herts & Bucks

Iftikhar Ali guilty over WhatsApp 'Islamic State' terror messages

Iftikhar Ali Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Iftikhar Ali was working at Sainsbury's when he sent extremist material via WhatsApp

A man who shared so-called Islamic State propaganda on WhatsApp has been found guilty of terrorism offences.

Iftikhar Ali, 19, from High Wycombe, sent a song called "Oh Islamic State You Light the World".

The Sainsbury's worker was convicted after a trial at the Old Bailey.

Ali, who said he was only interested in the material for "research and curiosity purposes", was found guilty of 12 counts of disseminating a terrorist document.

He was also convicted of one count of possessing a document likely to be useful to a person committing an act of terrorism.

Ali denied all charges and in a police interview he said: "I have no links to any terrorist network... I'm not part of Islamic State or any other organisation."

Image caption The court heard that Ali had "become a radicalised proponent and supporter of extreme Islamism"

In December 2015 Ali was identified by government's anti-terror programme, Prevent, but failed to engage with them.

He was arrested in March last year after he a made a payment of £140 to a man in Turkey.

Extremist material was then found on his phone, including images of executions and audio of radical preachings.

Following the guilty verdict, it was revealed Ali was friends with convicted terrorist Taha Hussain, who was jailed for four-and-a half years in September after he was filmed driving past Windsor Castle shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is greater) and "burn in hell".

Ali has been remanded in custody and sentencing is due to take place on 26 January.

Judge Mark Dennis said a custodial sentence of some length was "inevitable".

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