Terror teen sentenced for ‘callously’ grooming pal to commit Lee Rigby-style attack
- Credit: PA
A teenager who groomed his vulnerable autistic friend into carrying out a Lee Rigby-style terrorist attack has been jailed for eight years.
Kazi Islam, of Meanley Road, Manor Park, groomed 19-year-old Harry Thomas, who has Asperger’s syndrome and ADHD, into making a pipe bomb in a bid to carry out an attack on two soldiers – inspired by the murder of Fusilier Rigby two years ago.
Last month, Islam, 19, who worked for a board game company and met Mr Thomas at Barking and Dagenham College, was found guilty of preparing to commit acts of terrorism contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.
He was sentenced today at the Old Bailey to eight years behind bars at a Youth Offenders Institute.
During the sentencing, Judge Richard Marks, said: “Even on your own account that you knew he was an extremely vulnerable young man, your treatment of him was as callous as it was manipulative.”
From October 2013, Islam encouraged Mr Thomas to buy the ingredients of a pipe bomb and to kill members of the armed forces using a meat cleaver.
However, the bungled terror plot fell through when Mr Thomas failed to buy any of the right ingredients and told some friends what he and Islam were up to.
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Following a raid on Islam’s house, officers seized phones and computers and found evidence of the terror plot in various conversations between the pair.
In one conversation, Islam instructed Mr Thomas to kill two members of the armed forces.
He told Mr Thomas: “When I give you the order, I want you to kill a soldier... two soldiers.” He later added: “You should call yourself Haroon from now on,” in an attempt to give Mr Thomas a Muslim name.
However, during the trial Islam claimed he was only encouraging Mr Thomas as an experiment into radicalisation.
The Old Bailey also heard how Islam tried to radicalise some of his other friends, even asking one of them whether they would “suicide bomb yourself?”
Judge Marks said Islam’s behaviour towards Mr Thomas was an aggravating feature in deciding the sentence and that he had not shown any “remorse” into the seriousness of the offence.
“The holding of radicalised views is not in itself a criminal offence but the jury clearly took the view your involvement in this area went substantially further than that,” he added.
“Your intention was that an incendiary device of some sort should be made and detonated for terrorist purposes and the instructions you gave to Harry Thomas about killing a soldier should be carried out.
“You sought to involve several individuals, you persisted in this over a period of months.”
Islam will have to serve at least half of his sentence.