A teenager who shared via Whatsapp, graphic terrorist videos in which soldiers are beheaded, has been jailed for five years for encouraging terrorism.
He was jailed yesterday, Thursday, 7 June – the day after he was found guilty at Kingston Crown Court, of eight counts of encouraging terrorism.
The Met Police Counter Terrorism Command launched their investigation into Mohammed Khilji [Pictured] 19, of north-west London in July 2017 after he posted a video on YouTube in which he had digitally altered footage of a wargame video to make it appear that the featured soldiers were Daesh fighters.
Khilji had superimposed black Daesh flags on the ‘Battlefield’ video and overlaid it with a terrorist battle song and a quote from a Daesh propaganda magazine.
Detective Chief Superintendent Alexis Boon, said: “This video was deeply concerning and the fact that it featured a quote from a terrorist magazine suggested that Khilji had been looking at illegal material. So we launched our investigation into his activity.”
Detectives executed a search warrant at Khilji’s home on 4 July, recovering his mobile phone and computer. They arrested Khilji and he was released on bail while they continued their investigation.
Specialist forensic analysts then searched these devices and discovered he had been sharing graphic videos of Daesh beheading soldiers and videos, calling for violence against non-Muslims. One such video included footage of the terrorist attack in Westminster last year, and concluded by offering the viewer advice on preparing a vehicle-borne bomb.
Khilji was ultimately charged in relation to eight such videos.
DCS Boon continued: “When he was interviewed by police, Khilji tried to portray himself as an innocent youngster who held an interest in video production and didn’t agree with the actions of Daesh. He tried to make out that he had no interest in the terrorist organisation, but when we looked at his internet history, his searches for Daesh material online told another story.”
When trawling through Khilji’s phone and computer, analysts found compelling evidence that he was in fact a Daesh sympathiser. Such evidence included selfies of him posing with one finger in the air – a Daesh salute – in front of a black flag commonly associated with Daesh.
Some photos were accompanied by telling text such as “going kaffur hunting” – ‘kaffur’ meaning an ‘unbeliever’ or non-Muslim.
His Battlefield video, though not the subject of one of the eight charges of encouraging terrorism, was evidence of his pro-Daesh mindset, the prosecution told the court.
DCS Boon concluded: “I cannot emphasise enough how crucial it is that people who peddle terrorist material like Khilji did are brought to face justice. Every video they share helps radicalise vulnerable people.
“The National Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit has successfully sought the closure of Khilji’s YouTube account. I urge anyone who is sent or sees online material they suspect is terrorist or extremist, to report it to the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit.”
This can be done by filling in the secure online form at www.gov.uk/act