Tyne & Wear

Abdulrahman Alcharbati jailed for terrorism Facebook videos

Abdulrahman Alcharbati Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Police said material posted by Abdulrahman Alcharbati "actively encouraged others to carry out terrorist activity"

A civil engineer convicted of sharing terrorism videos on Facebook has been jailed for seven years.

Abdulrahman Alcharbati, from Newcastle, had denied making 70 posts promoting a "wealth of Islamic State material".

But a jury at Newcastle Crown Court found him guilty of six counts of sharing terrorist material, and also of possessing a bomb-making manual.

Judge Paul Sloan QC said the videos "glorified terrorism and were intended to encourage acts of terrorism".

"In my view, your repeated claims that your intention was simply to share and shed light on what was happening is not credible," he told Alcharbati.

Jurors were told Alcharbati, of Westholme Gardens, Benwell, uploaded a link to a film of people celebrating in the aftermath of a suicide bombing.

Another film showed Syrian soldiers being violently beaten to death and dragged away, while a guide on making suicide vests was discovered on his phone, the court was told.

'Hunger strike'

The material "actively encouraged others to carry out terrorist activity", police said.

Det Ch Supt Martin Snowden, head of counter terrorism policing North East, said: "Terrorist groups such as Daesh rely heavily on their propaganda being shared online where it is used to radicalise, encourage support and provoke individuals to carry out attacks abroad and in the UK."

West Yorkshire Police said more than 100 of the posts, made in January and February 2017, referred to either the terrorist group calling itself Islamic State or to martyrdom.

His account was suspended by Facebook on eight occasions and eventually permanently closed down in March 2017.

Alcharbati, a father of one, who was born in Syria, managed to get it reinstated each time by claiming he was merely "exposing what was happening" and that he needed to use the site for work.

His defence barrister, Bunty Batra, said he had been on "hunger strike" since Tuesday because "he believes he should be in a hospital, rather than a prison".

The court heard Alcharbati had been diagnosed as bipolar and claimed he suffered from a "manic episode" when he made the posts.

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