Sunderland terror suspect 'had bomb-making manual on his phone'

An engineer accused of using his Facebook account to encourage terrorism had a bomb-making manual on his phone, jurors have heard.

Thursday, 11th October 2018, 2:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th October 2018, 2:18 pm
The trial is being heard at Newcastle Crown Court

The shocking document found on Abdulrahman Alcharbati's mobile contained advice for bomb makers which included handling their device "gently and softly", like a "creature", while it is being manufactured.

It also warned against making any mistake while making an explosive device, as it "could be your last one".

Alcharbati posted 400 entries onto his news feed between January 24 and February 26 last year and a total of 110 of them referred to Islamic State or martyrdom, it is claimed.

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Newcastle Crown Court heard the 32-year-old married dad, who is originally from Syria, posted six "terrorist publications" on his profile, which had 5,000 "friends", in the course of one day in February last year.

Prosecutors say the videos could "encourage the watcher to commit acts of terrorism".

After counter-terrorism police raided his home at Noble Street, Sunderland, officers seized his phone and found a bomb-making manual titled "Easy Explosives", the court heard.

Jurors have been shown screenshots of the 120-page digital document, which detectives got translated into English from Arabic.

Prosecutor Dan Pawson-Pounds told the court the manual had a contents page, health and safety instructions and even the warning: "Do not handle explosives when you are not concentrating or very exhausted.

"Be cautious.

"Your first mistake could be your last one. It may result in you losing your life."

The document also advised "hints and tips" for making an explosive device, which included: "It should be treated as if it is a creature, gently and softly."

The chapter subjects included "types of explosives according to usage", "high heat explosives", "Russian TNT", "how to know the strength of explosives", "detonators", "military explosives", "how to explode a BM bomb from a distance, using a remote", "improvised explosive devices", "hand grenades" and "toxins".

Alcharbati told police "I just posted the news" when he was arrested and is now on trial accused of six offences of dissemination of a terrorist publication and one of possession of a document containing terrorist information.

Alcharbati told detectives, during eight separate interviews, that he was not a terrorist and was merely "reporting the news from the middle east".

Mr Pawson-Pounds told jurors: "He said he condemned terrorism and posted material to discourage others from committing such acts, quite opposite to what the crown say his intention was."

He denies all charges against him.

The trial continues.