Callous teenage terrorist jailed for grooming Asperger’s man to carry out Lee Rigby style attack

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A “callous and manipulative” teenage terrorist who groomed a young man with learning difficulties to carry out a Lee Rigby copycat killing has been jailed for eight years.

Kazi Islam, 19, tried to persuade 19-year-old Harry Thomas to buy the ingredients for a pipe bomb and to attack one or more soldiers with a kitchen knife or meat cleaver on his command. The defendant, who will serve his sentence in a young offenders institute, denied wrongdoing, saying that he only talked to Mr Thomas about getting the components for a bomb as an “experiment” in radicalisation.

But following the trial at the Old Bailey, Islam, of Meanley Road, Newham, east London, was found guilty of engaging in the preparation of terrorist acts.

Sentencing, judge Richard Marks QC told him that his behaviour towards Mr Thomas, who suffered from Asperger’s syndrome and ADHD, was an aggravating feature. He said: “Even on your own account, that you knew he was an extremely vulnerable young man, your treatment of him was as callous as it was manipulative.” 

Defending, Peter Lownds described his client as something of a “bedroom jihadist” whose plans had never got to the stage of specific discussion or a dry run. “He comes from a very loving and supportive family who are very worried and confused by these events,” he said.

At the time he was arrested, Islam, who failed to pass any GCSEs, was living with his parents and working for Winning Moves based in Paddington, which sells a range of popular family board games including Top Trumps, Monopoly, Cluedo, Risk, Connect 4 and Pass The Pigs.

Islam was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120 and made subject to a terrorism prevention requirement for 15 years. 

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