Muslim man who sold DVDs glorifying the 9/11 atrocities jailed under new terror laws
 Bilal Mohammed was sentenced under the terrorism act for possessing videos in support of 9/11

Daily Mail 


A Muslim who possessed DVDs glorifying the 9/11 atrocities has become one of the first people to be jailed under a section of the Terrorism Act. Bilal Mohammed, 27, was sentenced under Section 2 of the 2006 Act but his case is the first time the section has been used independently.

A court heard how he possessed nine videos and CDs in support of 9/11 and the Palestinian struggle against Israel.

He routinely took trips around the country to set up stalls where he sold some of his material including in London, Manchester, Leeds, Huddersfield and Halifax.

He admitted one count of possessing terrorist publications with a view to selling or distributing them. The items were found to glorify the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism and were likely to encourage people to engage in terrorist acts.

He was sentenced to three years but after serving 14 months in custody following a raid on his home last January, he could be out in as little as three months.

Leeds Crown Court heard on Wednesday how Mohammed, of Halifax, was born in his hometown and is a British citizen.

Judge James Stewart QC said: "All of the material was designed, in my judgement, to induce young British Muslims to be recruited to the terrorist cause, the purpose being to destroy the very fabric of the society in which they have thrived."

The court heard how a covert surveillance on Mohammed and accomplice Rizwan Ditta, 29, found that he had travelled nationwide to sell the "recruiting agents"

Prosecutor Jonathan Sharp said the one that was sold was called "21st Century Crusaders", which effectively exhorted Muslims to take up jihad.

Mr Sharp, who said conversations between Mohammed and Ditta had been bugged, said: "They talk about the Middle East and agree a desire to see the end of Israel.

"They also talked about robbing drug dealers to obtain cash for 'the cause'."

The court was shown excerpts from some of the DVDs he disseminated, including "The Manhattan Raid", "19 Martyrs" and "Hamas training and ideology".

The Manhattan Raid was produced by the media production house of al-Qaeda and was released in September 2006 to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the atrocities.

One shocking detail of the video showed Muslims at a training camp using cardboard cut-outs as human victims with the Christian crucifix as the target.

The 19 Martyrs goes into detail about the lives of the hijackers and in some of the material distributed, Osama bin Laden and training camps are depicted.

Mr Sharp said: "All the material is broadly in two parts with the first showing what some might say a partisan history and the problems besetting Muslims.  "The second part invariably features bin Laden and training camps, implicitly saying that this is a good thing for the committed young male Muslim to be doing and explicitly calls for young men to join up."

James Ward, defending Mohammed, said that he was not a jihadist and meant to educate people in both sides of the debate of whether Britain and the US should have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan.

He added that Mohammed was against the occupation of those countries but was reckless as to whether the material he distributed could have encouraged people to commit terrorist acts.

Judge Stewart told Mohammed: "Many in the UK and elsewhere were and are opposed to the British and American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

"But when extremist views are disseminated against our own government's policy, society says enough is enough.

"But many young minds have been affected by this, we will never know."

His accomplice Ditta was jailed for four years in December after admitting to owning a publication which showed how to make a suicide vest, contrary to Section 58 of the Terrorism Act.

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