A Coventry man has today been found guilty of preparing acts of terrorism after building a drone with the intention of supplying it to a banned terrorist organisation.
The jury at Birmingham Crown Court heard how PhD student Mohamad Al-Bared, aged 26 of Kare Road in Coventry, made the drone specifically to transport an explosive or chemical weapon into enemy territory for ISIS. Component parts for the drone were made on his 3D printer found at his home address.
He was arrested on 31 January in Coventry as his home address was raided by officers who seized the drone, 3D printer and several devices including phones and laptop.
Following intricate analysis of these devices, detectives revealed a series of conversations on his devices clearly demonstrating his support for ISIS as well as extremist material and violent propaganda videos.
During a search of his address, detectives also found notebooks detailing chemical equations and recipes for chemical weapons. Despite Al-Bared having studied mechanical and chemical engineering, it was clear that the chemicals referenced were to be used as weapons rather than as part of his studies.
His devices also documented conversations on how he had researched and worked out how to get the drone into a war zone without being stopped by authorities, he also set up a spoof company so he could pretend to be travelling on business.
Head of Counter Terrorism Policing West Midlands, Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Payne said:
“Al-Bared was a calculated individual and coupled with his education and expertise in mechanical and chemical engineering he was clearly very dangerous.
“He has made a purpose-built drone able to carry explosives or chemicals to be used as a weapon in a war zone, thankfully he was unable to continue his efforts following his swift arrest earlier this year.
“The jury heard how security conscious he was going to great lengths to try to hide anything that might lead to his identification.
“Today’s verdict means a dangerous individual has been taken off our streets, there is no place in our society for individuals intent on participating in terrorism activity.
“We will continue to work with partners and the CPS to protect our communities by pursuing and prosecuting such individuals. We work tirelessly to counter terrorism. Our absolute priority is to ensure the safety and security of the people who live, work and visit the West Midlands area.”
Al-Bared will be sentenced on 27 November.
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