Sheffield University student Mohammed Awan from Huddersfield is jailed for 10 years over terror offences

A dentistry student who was groomed by his brother - who became an Islamic State suicide bomber - has been jailed for 10 years for terror offences.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 20th December 2017, 2:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th December 2017, 2:25 pm
Mohammed Awan was jailed for 10 years during a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court.
Mohammed Awan was jailed for 10 years during a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court.

Undergraduate Mohammed Awan, 24, from Huddersfield, was found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court last week of preparing for terrorist acts and possessing material likely to be useful to a terrorist.

Judge Paul Watson QC today jailed Awan for 10 years and ordered him to serve three years extended licence on his release.

The defendant's brother, Rizwan Awan, travelled with his wife Sophie from Manchester Airport to Istanbul, Turkey, on May 17 2015 to join Islamic State and blew himself up in Iraq in 2016.

Awan was arrested by anti-terror police days after purchasing 500 ball bearings, which extremist material he possessed advised could be used as shrapnel in home-made bombs.

The student, who was at Sheffield University, was found to possess a "significant volume" of extremist material, including advice on how to be a "sleeper cell" in the West.

He had initially tried to justify his purchase of ball bearings by saying he was a keen angler and hunter who was planning to use them to hunt rabbits with a catapult, the trial heard.

The defendant's brother, Rizwan, and his partner, Sophie, had travelled from Manchester Airport to Istanbul, Turkey, in May 2015 to join Islamic State.

The brothers were then in contact with each other in August 2015, before reports emerged Rizwan killed himself in a suicide bombing in Iraq in March 2016.

A jury heard Awan had downloaded a terrorism manual which included headings such as Survival Techniques, Modern Weapons, Bomb Making, The Jihad Begins and Escaping for Safety.

A memory stick found in his bedroom contained a 36-minute video featuring a senior al Qaida leader, who was reportedly killed in a US drone strike in 2016.

In the film, entitled Commander Hamzah Zinjibary's Training Camp, he called on young Muslims to join Isis and featured graphic footage of how to kill and kidnap victims.

Items recovered by counter-terror officers included 11 mobile phones, 16 memory sticks, and around 60 Sim cards, containing a host of terrorism-related material.

Jurors convicted Awan of three counts in total - two of possession of a document or record containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism and one of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts or assisting others to commit such acts.