A man has been sentenced to over eight years of imprisonment after he was convicted for sharing ISIS material online, encouraging terrorism, and drug-related offences, the New Scotland Yard said on Saturday.
The Central Criminal Court of England and Wales on Friday handed out a six-year imprisonment to Shehroz Iqbal for terrorism-related offences, with a further three years to be served on license. He is also subject to a terrorism notification order for 15 years.
The 29-year-old man was found guilty on Oct. 20 of one count of dissemination of terrorist material and one count of encouragement of terrorism.
He also received 30 months imprisonment, running consecutively, for being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possession of cocaine and cannabis, after he pleaded guilty to these charges on Nov. 6.
Iqbal was arrested on April 6 after detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s (Met) Counter Terrorism Command found on his Facebook page a propaganda video of the ISIS terrorist group. He was charged on April 7 with dissemination of terrorist material.
After investigation, the officers also found a video he uploaded to a WhatsApp group, showing himself in central London with words including “Attack, Attack.”
“[T]he inference being Iqbal was encouraging others to carry out an attack at various locations,” the Met said.
“Following this discovery, a further indictment of encouragement of terrorism was added on 27 July.”
Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said he was “very pleased” with the sentence.
“Shehroz Iqbal is a volatile man with an extremist mind-set who has now been sentenced to a lengthy time in prison,” Smith said in a statement.
“Thanks to the vigilance of Counter Terrorism officers we identified Iqbal’s illegal activity and were able to prevent him from carrying out something far more harmful.”
Smith said the police rely on information from the public, and urged people to be vigilant and report suspicious behaviours, online or in the real world, to the police.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has made the same plea to the public on Nov. 3 after the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre changed the UK terror threat level from “substantial” to “severe,” meaning an attack is now judged to be “highly likely.” Patel said the move was a precautionary measure rather than based on any specific threat.
A series of Islamic terrorist attacks hit Europe in the weeks before the UK raised its terror threat level.
Alexander Zhang contributed to this report.