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Terror video man jailed

Craig Slee, convicted of terror related offences

Craig Slee, convicted of terror related offences

A man who posted a string of links to terrorist propaganda and “barbaric” videos depicting beheadings has been jailed for five years.

Craig Allan Slee, 42, of Trawden Crescent, Ribbleton, Preston, has admitted four charges under the Terrorism Act after police found a catalogue of disturbing videos, a text document and messages related to “jihadism” linked to a Facebook page he had set up in the false name Hashim X Shakur.

Slee claimed on his Facebook profile he was an Afghan man who had studied at Kabul University, spoke English and Arabic and had suiffered shrapnel wounds fighting in Afghanistan.

And he ran a separate closed group on the site called FB Mujahideen in which he linked with other jihadist Facebook accounts.

On his pages were links to three beheading videos, disturbing footage of which was seen in court.

Two other videos showed men in Islamic dress, their faces covered, with small arms, rocket launchers and improvised explosive devices. One showed members of the Mujahideen firing weapons, including mortars, in terrorist attacks.

They were, said the crown, videos intended to glorify terrorist acts.

Slee also posted a lengthy text document, written largely in English, on his own page called ‘Communique from Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, to our fellow Muslims in Tunisia’ following the rebellion in Tunisia.

In extracts read out in court, it contained anti-Western sentiment, urging Tunisians “not to be tricked by the West” and referring to the French and Americans as “crusaders”

And he also posted on another website which hosted one of the beheading videos, saying he was prepared to be a “martyr for Allah.”

But when anti terror police swooped on Slee in July 2011 and seized a computer from his mothers home in Trawden Crescent, he claimed he was simply addicted to computer war games such as Call of Duty and so found the war on terror interesting.

Jonathan Sandiford, prosecuting, said: “The prosecution case is that some time prior to 2011 he converted to Islam and developed an interest in radical Islam.”

The court heard Slee’s Facebook profile had been ‘open’ meaning any of Facebook’s millions of users could see it – and the distressing links posted on it.

But Slee also set up a private, closed group called FB Mujahideen, which he used to post more material.

Other members of the group, which was invite only, included Allah’s Sword and Princess Jihad, which the prosecution say is evidence of “the nature of the group”.

The videos and pages were discovered on various dates in March 2011 by police. On July 25 that year, Slee was arrested at the home he was living in at the time in Windermere, Cumbria.

They found a number of books on Islam, a newspaper cutting about the murder of British solders in Afghanistan and a magazine with the words ‘I love Taliban’ scrawled across it.

Police also swooped on the home in Trawden Crescent where they seized the computer used to set up the Facebook page and found a canister of CS gas.

In interview, Slee claimed he was in fact addicted to computer war games and denied being interested in jihad or even being a practicing Muslim.

He claimed the beheading videos had been posted to show that those carrying out the acts were hypocrites.

“He admitted being the administrator of FB Mujahideen but said he had not been bothered with it so left it open – but it had been closed by Facebook,” said Mr Sandiford.

He said the group had “all been a bit of a joke”.

Slee had pleaded guilty to four counts of disseminating terrorist publications and one of possession of the CS gas at previous hearings.

Defending, Mohammed Qasi said there was a “proper argument in the case of Mr Slee that no pathway to committing further, perhaps more serious offences, was likely.”

He added: “Mr Slee does not appear to have the skills, knowledge, access to creditable networks or finding which is usually associated with acts of terrorism.”

Sentencing, Judge Anthony Russell QC, the Recorder of Preston, said the evidence established “a deliberate intention on your part to disseminate the material – this is not a case of recklessness.”

He said the videos were “horrific and disgusting.”

“It beggars believe that anyone can have an interest in such material which reveals a shocking and barbaric depravity and complete absence of any degree of humanity,” he added.

Slee is also now subject to notification requirements under the Counter Terrorism Act 2008 for 15 years.

 

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