Jury shown 'unpleasant' ISIS videos in trial of Sunderland man charged with terror offences


A judge warned a jury not to let their thoughts be tainted by their emotional reaction while viewing ISIS videos in court.

Abdulrahman Alcharbati, 31, is accused of posting the ISIS videos on his Facebook page in a bid to encourage terrorism and is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

The civil engineering worker is alleged to have made 110 references to martyrdom and the proscribed terrorist organisation on his social media profile and posted links to six videos in the space of one day in February last year.

The court heard how Alcharbati, who is from Syria, had a copy of a manual titled “Easy Explosives, 4th edition” on how to make improvised explosive devices, specifically suicide bomb vests, on his mobile phone.

When the married dad was arrested at his home in Noble Street, Sunderland, last May he told officials “I just posted the news”.

Alcharbati had worked for the firm Capita and for the institute for civil engineering at Newcastle University.

He denies six offences of dissemination of a terrorist publication and one of possessing a document containing terrorist information.

During day two of his trial, the jury were shown the videos which the court heard had been posted by Alcharbati onto his Facebook page.

The videos are mostly in Arabic and often feature ISIS flags.

Judge Paul Sloan QC warned the jury that that what is depicted in the videos is “unpleasant” but told them that they should not judge the case on their emotional reaction to the evidence.

He told them: “Some of what’s depicted in the videos is unpleasant. It’s only right you should be forwarded that’s the case.

“What you see might give rise to strong feelings and strong emotions. That’s only understandable.

“However you must judge this case upon the evidence you hear and not the emotional reaction to the evidence.

“So don’t allow your thoughts to be tainted by your emotional reaction to what you observe.

“I stress under no circumstances should you allow yourself to be prejudice against the defendant because the material is unpleasant.”

The jury were shown a video which contained footage and audio of a double suicide.

They were also shown a video about ‘orphan welfare under Islamic State' in which children are being trained for battle.

The video contains a song in which the orphans are referred to as “lion cubs” and are described as “heroes”.

Another video watched by the jury showed men in military uniform being paraded in front of crowds, killed and then tied up and dragged along the road on the back of a motorbike.

Another piece of video shown in court contained “praise for martyrs”.

Prosecutor Dan Pawson-Pounds told the court how the videos were open for anyone to view and accessible to anyone who clicked on the links.

Alcharbati, who has bipolar disorder, denied having extremist views and claimed he was reporting news and trying to discourage others.

He denies all charges.

The trial continues.