A 28 year old man from Leicester has today (Tuesday, July 6, 2021) been convicted of being a member of Daesh.
Following a five week trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Hisham Chaudhary (04/02/93) of Chestnut Drive in Oadby was found guilty of seven terrorism offences, including membership of a proscribed organisation, entering into terrorist funding arrangements and disseminating terrorist publications.
Chaudhary has been remanded in custody and sentencing will take place in September.
The investigation, led by Counter Terrorism Policing North East, supported by Counter Terrorism Policing East Midlands and Leicestershire Police, resulted in Chaudhary’s arrest in November 2019.
Detectives uncovered considerable evidence to demonstrate he was a trusted and active member of the banned terrorist group, one that not only subscribed to their ideology, but also immersed himself in supporting their activities and creating and spreading propaganda on their behalf.
Operating largely online, the defendant was able to serve the objectives of the organisation from the UK, by promoting violent jihad, providing safe communication networks for like-minded individuals and sourcing money to assist other members.
Chaudhary created videos to spread the ideology of Daesh and to call others to arms. He did so using platforms popular with the group and went to great lengths to ensure they reached the right audience. He even sought assistance to protect the legacy of his videos, to prevent them from being deleted or taken down.
Financial investigators also revealed that Chaudhary had deliberately developed his understanding and use of the Cryptocurrency Bitcoin. He frequently used the technology to receive and transfer thousands of pounds, paying smugglers to liberate Daesh supporters from detention camps in Syria.
Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden is the Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East. He said: “From the comfort of his home in the UK, Hisham Chaudhary took an active role in promoting, supporting and funding terrorism.
“It is evident he was a valued member of Daesh, one who had consistently demonstrated his allegiance through his actions.
“Proscribed organisations present a very real risk to our security, to the safety of communities both in the UK and overseas. Anyone demonstrating support for such a group, in any form, will be prosecuted without exception.
“Despite the weight of the evidence against him, Hisham Chaudhary has tried to present himself as a humanitarian. He is in fact a terrorist and has been recognised as such by the jury today.”
Action Counters Terrorism. Anyone who sees or hears something they suspect is connected to terrorism is urged to trust their instincts and ACT by reporting it in confidence at gov.uk/ACT. In emergency, always dial 999.
- Chaudhary was charged with seven offences under the Terrorism Act:
- Four counts of Disseminating Terrorist Publications, contrary to Section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006.
- One count of Membership of a Proscribed Organisation, contrary to Section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
- Two counts of Entering a Funding Arrangement, contrary to Section 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000.