From local Yorkshire newspaper The Star
It took a jury over 15 hours of deliberation to find Farhad Salah guilty of preparing to commit acts of terrorism, following a five week trial at Sheffield Crown Court.
During this morning’s hearing, Judge Paul Watson QC jailed Salah for 15 years, with an extended license period of three additional years, due to the ‘significant risk of serious harm’ the 24-year-old is deemed to pose to the public.
Farhad Salah, aged 23, of Brunswick Road, Burngreave, Sheffield, was found guilty of preparing to commit an act of terrorism after a trial at Sheffield Crown Court earlier this month and was sentenced this morning. He must also serve an extended license period of a three further years due to the danger he is deemed to pose to the public.
As a result, Salah must serve at least two thirds of his sentence, instead of one half behind bars. The maximum sentence for preparing an act of terrorism is life imprisonment.
Judge Watson told the court that the picture of Salah police had been able piece together after seizing his mobile phone during raids at his home at the Fatima Community Centre, Burngreave in December 2017 was of someone ‘who had become wedded to extremist ideology and was preparing to take action of give effect to those views’.
“By the verdict of the jury, that action was to be something which involved killing people, seriously injuring people or, at the very least, causing very serious damage to property. Given that your chosen method was to achieve your aims by the use of explosives, the risk of causing death or serious injury, is obvious,”
Judge Watson said that while Salah’s preparations to carry out an act of terrorism, the specific target of which has never been discovered, were still in their ‘infancy’ when police arrested him ‘there can be no doubt’ what his intentions were.
He said: “You were in contact with other extremists, you were viewing material on social media which depicted utterly depraved and sickening imagery, said to be carried out in the name of the extremist cause which you had espoused….your attitude to extreme violence and loss of life, sometimes in unimaginably horrifying circumstances, indicates clearly to me that you, had you carried your preparations through to conclusion, would have had no hesitation in causing loss of life of the infliction of terrible suffering.”
The court was told how Salah, who worked as a barber in Stocksbridge, would most likely be deported at the conclusion of his sentence.
During the course of the trial, the Crown said Salah wanted ‘to do something meaningful to prove his allegiance to IS (Islamic State)’. In a message Salah sent to an online contact, he revealed his plan to carry out a terrorist plot using a driverless car. "My only attempt is to find a way to carry out martyrdom operation with cars without driver everything is perfect only the programme is left," he said.
Officers also recovered ‘deeply concerning messages which revealed an affiliation with Daesh and a belief in violent Jihad’.
Jurors failed to reach a verdict in the case of Salah’s co-accused, Andy Star, 32, of Sheffield Road, Chesterfield, who was accused of the same offence. They were the second jury to try the pair, and Judge Watson confirmed a third trial would not be sought in Mr Star’s case and recorded a not guilty verdict.
Samuel Green QC, defending, said Salah still does not accept that he is guilty.