A man has been jailed for distributing terrorist-related flyers and CDs in east London, following report from the public.
Khalid Javed Baqa, 53, from east London has been sentenced at the Old Bailey to four years and eight months’ imprisonment.
Baqa previously pleaded guilty to five counts of dissemination of terrorist publications, contrary to Section 2 of the Terrorism Act – the offences spanning a 12-month period between June 2016 and June 2017. He received the same sentence for all – to run concurrent.
The investigation, carried out by the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, revealed how Baqa was distributing extreme Islamist and terrorist-related material via printed flyers and audio CDs containing various speeches and dialogue encouraging jihad and violence.
Commander Clarke Jarrett, said: “Baqa was reproducing and distributing terrorist related material in the hope of getting others involved and drawn into the same toxic ideology he was peddling.
“Not only that, but he also radicalised and involved a young impressionable 17-year-old, whom he then used to help distribute his pamphlets and CDs.
“This investigation came about after a vigilant tube driver found suspicious items that had been left on his tube and reported this to police. As a result, we were able to link the material to Baqa and uncover what he was up to. It shows the importance of reporting this kind of activity to police, however small, and I’d urge the public to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious.”
Anyone who sees anything suspicious is urged to report their concerns to the police by filling in the secure form at www.gov.uk/act or calling police in confidence on 0800 789 321.
Baqa’s activity came to police attention on 28 April 2017, when a tube driver in east London found a carrier bag that had been left on one of the carriages. Inside were various papers, some of which contained references to ‘Jihad’. Concerned about the contents, the driver handed the bag to police.
Officers examined the papers and found what were later identified as Baqa’s fingerprints on several of the pamphlets and flyers. Due to the concern over the contents of the bag, the investigation was passed to the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command to investigate.
Detectives carried out local CCTV enquiries and traced Baqa’s movements prior to getting on the tube that evening. CCTV showed him entering the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel without the bag and then leaving the hospital some time later holding the carrier bag – the same one, which was later found on the tube.
Officers attended the hospital chapel and the Chaplain advised them that a number of CDs had also recently been left in there and these were subsequently seized found to contain hate and terrorist-related speeches.
As the investigation continued, a further batch of pamphlets were found at the same hospital chapel. Again, these were seized and analysed by police and forensic evidence found on some of the pamphlets led to officers identifying a teenage boy – someone, it later transpired, whom Baqa had effectively recruited to help distribute the terrorist content he was reproducing.
On 13 June, 2017 officers arrested Baqa and searched his home address. They found several copies of CDs identical to those found at the hospital chapel, which contained speeches inciting violence and jihad.
Further enquiries revealed Baqa was using a printing and copying shop in east London to make copies of the jihad-related fliers he was then distributing.
In October 2017, officers also arrested the 17-year-old, whom they suspected as helping distribute the material Baqa was reproducing. Analysis of phones and computers seized also showed how the pair had sent digital copies of the fliers to each other.
Baqa was charged on 11 October with dissemination of terrorist material. The 17-year-old was subsequently charged on 17 January 2018 with one count of dissemination of terrorist material and two counts of doing an act encouraging or enabling another to commit an offence, contrary to section 44(1) of the Serious Crime Act.
The 17-year-old pleaded guilty to the offences and was sentenced at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on 5 March to a 12-month intensive referral order.