Pakistani worker Abdul Rahman admits urging Muslims to jihad in UK

A Pakistani student urge British Muslims to join jihad, or holy war, in the Middle East and Afghanistan, a court heard today as the suspect admitted to terrorism-related charges.

Abdul Rahman, 25, who admitted disseminating terrorist information as part of a plea-bargain, was linked to a “radical cell” committed to fighting jihad with their “Muslim brothers,” Manchester Crown Court was told.

When arrested in January this year Rahman had a jiffy bag ready to send to Afghanistan containing two hunting knives and mobile phones.

Today he pleaded guilty to possessing a letter which amounted to a “call to arms” from a friend who was fighting in Afghanistan, as well as to disseminating terrorist propaganda and aiding the breach of a control order. He faces up to six years in jail.

Parmjit Cheema, for the prosecution, told the judge that Rahman was a "key player" in a terrorist cell.

"This defendant was involved in scouting, recruiting and encouraging others to join their philosophy of extreme jihad, or holy war.

"Their particular interest was the perceived assault on Islam and Afghanistan and the need to provide resources and fighters for that conflict.

"They were a group or cell of young men espousing the radical extreme jihadi philosophy that non believers are legitimate targets, especially if engaged wit the true believers of Islam. In this case the Taleban and the residual insurgents."

Video footage of Rahman and two other men were released by Greater Manchester Police today.

The clips, recorded in the winter in the Lake District, show Rahman singing jihadi songs and giving a commentary as the two other men crawl on their stomachs through the snow as if the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. The clips were found when police raided Rahman's home.

Rahman came to the UK in September 2004 on a four-year student visa to study at Dundee University. However, he quit the course after one day, moving to Cheetham Hill, Manchester, where he began working in a mobile phone shop.

He pleaded guilty to possessing articles for the purpose of terrorism, dissemination of terrorist propaganda and aiding or abetting the breach of a control order at Manchester Crown Court.

Rahman faced the more serious charge of assisting another to commit or prepare a terrorist act, which carries a maximum life sentence on conviction.

He formally entered a not guilty plea to the offence. Instead, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of aiding and abetting another man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to break a control order.

It was part of a plea bargain agreed whereby he confessed to the three charges after the judge, his Honour Clement Goldstone QC, indicated that the defendant would only be jailed for a maximum of six years if he was to plead guilty and avoid a trial.

Rahman was told off by the judge for grinning and laughing as he sat in the dock while the case against him was outlined.

Ms Cheema said he began a pharmacy course at a university near the Afghan-Pakistan border in 2000, but left within a year due to “psychological problems”.

In September 2004, he applied to do a biotechnology course at a university in Dundee but, after just one day in Scotland, made an “early and swift” move south, saying later that he was “unable to settle in this culture”.

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