Neighbours on Nora Street of man jailed for terror posts 'don't want him out'

Residents living on a Sunderland street where a man convicted of terror offences once lived, are hoping new legislation will keep him in prison.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 4:38 pm
Updated Friday, 7th February 2020, 10:17 am

Mohammed Zahir Khan spouted hatred and spread fear on Facebook and Twitter; posting messages supporting Islamic State. A judge at Newcastle Crown Court in May 2018 said it was “clear” he supported the terrorist group.

The shopkeeper, then aged 40, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison but it has been reported that he could be released on February 28.

However the government is looking implement a swift change in the law following the Streatham stabbing on February 2.

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Sunderland shop keeper Mohammed Zahir Khan who was sentenced for terror offences in May 2018 and Nora Street in Sunderland where he used to live
Sunderland shop keeper Mohammed Zahir Khan who was sentenced for terror offences in May 2018 and Nora Street in Sunderland where he used to live

Islamist attacker Sudesh Amman stabbed two people in Streatham, London having been released from prison on January 23, half-way through his term, despite still being considered a risk by authorities.

On Nora Street, where Khan lived, residents want the say

William Hylton, 77, said: “They should be kept in with longer sentences to be honest.

Mohammed Zahir Khan used to live in Nora Street. Residents we spoke to want him to stay in jail.

“Prisons can be breeding grounds for terrorists. There’s people in there helping them to be a ‘better’ terrorist. So we need to separate them in jail.”

Other residents did not want to be named, including one woman who said: “We want them locked up for as long as possible. We’re too soft in this country. Absolutely.

“They’re brainwashed and they’ll do it again. It’s absolutely terrible.”

The woman’s husband said: “If they’ve done the crime, they should do the time. They only let them out early to make it easier for the prisons.”

Another resident said: “He (Khan) only lived a few doors away from me and I can’t say I ever noticed him. But if he’s going to be in jail for the full term, then good.”

Another neighbour told us: “The sentences are too soft to start with. So the longer they keep them in the better. You can’t trust terrorists to be reformed. We’ve just seen that in London.”