Toilet bomb ‘joker’ guilty of having terrorist documents

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A young man who “joked” about blowing up a toilet has been found guilty of having terrorist documents on bombs, explosives and assassins.

Mohammed Adnan Saleem, 22, was on trial at the Old Bailey accused of having a collection of information that was useful to a terrorist.

The defendant, who has autism, claimed he had the documents for research and that he was only joking when he talked about bombing a lavatory.

A jury deliberated for more than 12 hours to find him guilty of three charges relating to The Successful Pressure Cooker Bomb, Procedure to Make Explosive and How to Become an Assassin.

He was cleared of five other similar charges it was claimed were the product of block downloading between June 2017 and January 2019.

Prosecutor Maryam Syed said they contained information about guerilla warfare and detailed how to make viable explosives, the court heard.

She said: “The documents recovered from the defendant’s devices contain information on guerilla  warfare, IED cells, paramilitary fighters, chemicals, and procedures on how to make viable explosives.

“The titles alone, particularly in relation to bombs and explosives and assassins, show that the defendant would have been aware that it contained information that was of a kind likely to be useful to a person in committing or preparing an act of terrorism, rather than just supportive of Jihad or Al-Qaida.”

Social media chats and internet activity revealed the defendant’s extreme “mindset” about Jihad and travelling to the Middle East, the prosecution claimed.

Jurors were shown a selection of videos found on his devices with images of dead men, women and children, dead  American soldiers, the holding of a severed head and an execution.

Ms Syed said that he also spoke about the al-Qaida “Inspire” magazine, mentioned being a scientist and bombing toilets.

The defendant denied all the charges against him, claiming the documents were for legitimate research.

His lawyer Sultana Tafadar KC dismissed the defendant’s online chat as “Muslim boy dark humour”.

She told jurors: “They make jokes about blowing themselves up – that is dark humour.

“A suspect community viewed with suspicion of terrorism – it is dark humour and irony.

“Please review these chats, place yourself in his shoes and if you’re not sure, give him the benefit of the doubt. If it could be a joke, give him the benefit of the doubt.

“Why would he want to bomb a toilet, this is him talking about defecating.

“This is normal chatter with some humour thrown in, this is Muslim boy humour.”

Following the guilty verdicts on Tuesday, Ms Syed told the court the prosecution did not suggest the defendant had any terrorist connections.

Judge Anthony Leonard KC ordered a pre-sentence report and granted Saleem continued conditional bail.

But the judge warned that all options remained open when he is sentenced on April 28.

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