An ISIS sympathiser who collected magazines and articles on terrorist tactics has been jailed at Manchester Crown court today for four and a half years.
Atiq Ahmed aged 38 of Copster Hill Road, Oldham was sentenced after previously pleading guilty to five counts of possessing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
He was also given a 10-year criminal behaviour order, which will come into effect after he has served his jail term. Under the order, he will be required to give officers access to any devices upon demand to see whether he is accessing terrorist related material.
The court heard how in October 2017, Ahmed was arrested after religiously abusing staff at a school in Oldham.During his arrest, his phone was seized and, following thorough forensic examinations of the phone, several files of so-called Islamic State propaganda were uncovered.
Following the discovery, Ahmed was arrested in December 2017. A search warrant was then executed at his home on Copster Hill Road and a number of electronic devices were seized.
Among the seized devices was an electronic tablet that Counter Terrorism officers found in the kitchen bin. It contained a 16GB memory card with multiple issues of an extremist magazine.
Articles in the magazines included information on terrorist tactics, instructions on how to make a viable device and ISIS propaganda.
Detective Superintendent Will Chatterton, Head of Investigations for Counter Terrorism Policing North West, said: “Ahmed actively tried to hide his electronic devices from officers by disposing of them in a kitchen bin. He also refused to give officers initial access to them in a further attempt to conceal the disturbing material that he stored on them.
“This sentence comes as a result of the dedicated work by Counter Terrorism Policing North West officers who have trawled through large amounts of data to ensure we achieved the result we have today.
“We also worked closely with GMP’s neighbourhood officers across Oldham and I would like to thank them for their part in this investigation. Without their extensive enquiries when Ahmed was first reported to us, we wouldn’t be in this position today.
“This outcome was made possible by a victim of hate crime coming forward and reporting an atrocious incident to the police. The school put their trust in us by doing so and I hope that they can take some comfort from knowing Ahmed is now behind bars.”
To report any suspicious activity call police on 0800 789 321.
Anyone who sees extremist content online can report their concerns anonymously to specialist officers at the world-leading Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit at www.gov.uk/report-terrorism