Sunderland dad denies six terrorism charges at crown court trial

A civil engineering worker posted ISIS videos on his Facebook page in a bid to encourage terrorism, a court has heard.

Monday, 22nd January 2018, 4:13 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd January 2018, 4:20 pm
The trial is taking place at Newcastle Crown Court.

A jury was told Abdulrahman Alcharbati, who had worked for the firm Capita and for the institute for civil engineering at Newcastle University, made 110 references to martyrdom and the proscribed terrorist organisation on his open social media profile and, in the space of one day last February, posted links to six videos.

The 31-year-old Sunderland man allegedly had a copy of a manual titled Easy Explosives, 4th edition on how to make improvised explosive devices, specifically suicide bomb vests, downloaded onto his mobile phone.

When the married dad, who is from Syria, was arrested at his home in Noble Street, Hendon, Sunderland, last May, he allegedly told officials: "I just posted the news."

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Alcharbati denies six offences of dissemination of a terrorist publication and one of possessing a document containing terrorist information and is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court .

Prosecutor Dan Pawson-Pounds told the court: "This is a case about the dissemination, distribution, and possession of terrorist material.

"Not bombs, or bullets or knives but internet links to extremist islamic videos, encouraging the watcher to commit acts of terrorism and an electronic copy of a document which gives step-by-step, detailed instructions on how to make improvised explosive devices, IEDs, specifically suicide bomb vests.

"The links to the videos were posted by this defendant onto his Facebook page, open for anyone to view and accessible to anyone who clicked on those links."

The court heard one of the videos, which lasted two minutes and seven seconds, was in Arabic and showed three 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 13-minute piece of footage allegedly contained "praise for martyrs".

A third also encouraged suicide missions, the court was told, while a fourth video was a 30 second clip, containing footage from a rap verse, and glorified ISIS, aka Islamic State, suicide missions.

The jury heard the another clip, which lasted over 30 minutes and was in Russian with Arabic subtitles, encouraged violence against "unbelievers", including the words "Wack them with a rock, cut his throat with a knife, crush him with a car, push him from high, suffocate him, poison him".

The court heard the videos were mostly in Arabic and often featured an ISIS flag.

Mr Pawson-Pounds told jurors: "The intention of posting those links, is, say the crown, clear, that is to encourage others to commit or prepare acts of terrorism.

"That is why the videos were created in the first place and that is why this defendant posted links to them."

Mr Pawson-Pounds said the IED manual was found in the "documents" folder on Alcharbati's mobile phone and was a "viable instruction manual" on how to prepare two types of suicide vests which could have caused death or serious injury to people and damage to property.

He had also used the phone to access an app which gave further instructions on explosives and had two "thumbnail" videos on how to create explosive materials.

The court heard between June 2016 and February 2017 a total of 70 of his Facebook posts referred to ISIS directly and a further 40 referred to martyrdom and the fight in Syria.

Mr Pawson-Pounds told the court: "Investigating officers, looking at this material, took the view the posts, as a whole, demonstrated the defendant supported the aims of Islamic State, a proscribed terrorist organisation, and he wished to encourage others to support his view and commit terrorist acts in the name of IS or for other motives similar."

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.