An Isis fantatic has been jailed for eight years after sharing a video of him yelling ‘attack, attack,’ at the Royal Festival Hall in an extremist WhatsApp group – after claiming he was only practising dog commands. Shehroz Iqbal, 28, from Gants Hill in Ilford, was already known to the Home Office after he was given a suspended sentence for posting anti-semitic posters outside a synagogue in 2017.
At his sentencing hearing on Friday, the court heard Iqbal had been subject to two suspended sentences at the time of the offences for harassing members of a synagogue in Gants Hill. He also had a string of previous convictions for shoplifting, threatening behaviour and driving offences, as well as possession of drugs stretching back to 2010.
The extremist was enrolled in a Government deradicalisation programme, Desistance and Disengagement, and was under routine checks from officers at Ilford Police Station.
In March, Iqbal sent a video to to group he filmed at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank. As it panned across the city’s skyline he could be heard saying: ‘This is my spot Akhi (brothers). Attack, attack!’
Messages on the thread also included a celebration of the 18th anniversary of 9/11 which read: ‘Happy 9/11, it’s sweet 18 party’ and another branding moderate imams ‘grave-worshipping dogs.’
Iqbal posted a horrific video of ISIS jihadis violently seizing Ramadi, depicting soldiers who had tried to protect the Iraqi city lying dead on the ground.
Bearded Iqbal remained expressionless as Judge Philip Katz jailed him for eight and a half years.
‘You have blamed your offending on everything from drugs, to mental health issues to difficulties opening a bank account. You have even ironically blamed it on feeling you were the victim of racism. Your explanation to the police for making the video was absurd. I am not surprised that you did go into the witness box and try it on with the jury.’
Judge Philip Katz QC said he did not believe Iqbal’s approach to an anti-radicalisation programme to be a “genuine change of attitude” and that when dealing with authorities he says “whatever you think suits you best at the time”. He continued: “You blame your offending on everything from drugs to mental issues to your difficulties opening a bank account, and most ironically to you being the subject of racism. The irony being your own overt racism, some of it towards other Muslims.”
Iqbal, of Kenwood Gardens, Gants Hill, Essex, denied but was convicted of encouraging terrorism and disseminating terrorist publications. He was sentenced to an extended sentence of nine years; six of which will be spent behind bars and three out on release.
Judge Katz also jailed him for 30 months consecutively to the six years, for a single count being concerned in the supply of 2.62 grams of cocaine with a street value of £250.
His lawyer Laurie-Ann Power said: ‘He is exactly the type of person who people with extremist mindsets prey on. He accepts his guilt. He recognises the impact that his offending behaviour would have on the public at large. But the probation officer perhaps sums it up the best: “It seems to me at the time he committed these offences he was isolated and bored.”‘
Bored???? I have known young men do stupid things when bored. Writing rude words on the lavatory walls is the sort of stupid thing a stupid young man does when bored. Not plotting jihad.