Wales

Cardiff student Zakaria Afey sentenced for sharing 'virgins song'

Zakaria Afey Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption Zakaria Afey admitted sharing an online link to a terrorist song which praised Osama bin Laden

A student has been sentenced to 30 months at a youth offenders centre for sharing a terrorist song in praise of Osama bin Laden.

Zakaria Afey admitted sharing a link to the "virgins of paradise" song on the basis he was "reckless".

The 20-year-old from Cardiff also admitted having a terrorist manual.

Judge Rebecca Poulet QC told the Old Bailey Afey had been "deeply committed" to the cause and had sympathy for the Islamic State group and Al Quaeda.

"This was extremist literature reflecting dangerous and cruel beliefs," she told Afey.

The video and its content encouraged "martyrdom," she said.

"It eulogises Osama bin Laden. It is clear encouragement to anyone interested in violent Jihad."

The material was found on Afey's mobile phone after it was seized in a search of his home in October 2017.

He initially denied the charges against him but changed his plea on the second day of his trial.

'Painstaking police work'

Afey, from St Mellons, was sentenced to 15 months for disseminating the nasheed (a chanted song) and 30 months for having the terror manual, to run concurrently.

He was also handed a one-year extended licence period.

The police investigation into Afey was sparked by the arrest in February 2017 of four young men, who were later convicted of terrorism offences.

Their telephones were seized and communications with Afey were revealed through "painstaking police work".

Det Sup Jim Hall, of the Wales Extremism and Counter terrorism Unit welcomed the conviction.

He said: "Cardiff is an extremely safe city. The community in Cardiff have repeatedly rejected the extreme views of individuals calmly and with dignity.

"Their support is of great value and should not be underestimated."

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