Duo's common terror purpose

Two men with links to Sheffield had a '˜common terrorist purpose' and were working together to prepare a larger form of explosive device, a jury has been told.Â

Wednesday, 5th September 2018, 5:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th September 2018, 4:48 am

Alleged Islamic State supporters, Farhad Salah and Andy Star, went on trial at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday, each accused of preparing an act of terrorism. Both men deny the charge

As she concluded her opening into the prosecution case against the two defendants yesterday, Anne Whyte QC told the court that each of the men had a specific role in the terrorist act they were allegedly preparing.

'They worked together, in their own ways for a common terrorist purpose and their guilt, you can be sure, once you have heard all the evidence in this case, is joint,' said Ms Whyte. 

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She added: 'The principle testing ground or laboratory was at Star's premises. There he stockpiled substances and components that could be used to experiment and test, on a small but significant scale, different types of explosives.

'He tried to do some of this in plain sight, by affecting that any such substances were simply to do with an innocent interest in fireworks. 

'Salah, as we know, not least from his social media activity, was working with Star in order to prepare a larger form of explosive device.'

Ms Whyte told jurors that much of Salah's role related to his online activity. 

'Salah regularly offered religious and logistical advice to the people he communicated with on Facebook,' said Ms Whyte, adding he had a '˜very real awareness that he was communicating with terrorists and aspiring terrorists'. 

Following his arrest at his home in Brunswick Drive, Burngreave on December 19 last year, Salah said in police interview that he had stopped using his Facebook account in the name Yavare some nine to 12 months earlier because someone had hacked into it. 

'The combination of technical and factual evidence, along with the content of the messages themselves will, we say, make you sure that he is responsible as the user of that phone for all of the messages posted in his usernames on Facebook,' said Ms Whyte, adding: 'In short the suggestion of hacking during the indictment period is a smokescreen because Salah dare not admit being responsible for such incriminating communications. Communications for which he has no answer. 

When interviewed, Star, of Sheffield Road, Chesterfield denied any involvement in terrorism and said he did not support Islamic State. 

The trial continues.