A shopkeeper who tweeted support for Islamic State (IS) and called for “death to Shias” was jailed for four and a half years in May 2018.
Jonathan Sandiford, prosecuting counsel for the Counter Terrorism Unit, successfully secured a custodial sentence for Mohammed Khan who was convicted of encouraging terrorism after showing support for Islamic State.
Mohammed Zahir Khan had admitted to encouraging terrorism, dissemination of a terror publication and stirring up religious hatred, pleading guilty on the basis he was reckless. His denial was said to “lack credibility” by a Newcastle Crown Court judge.
Originally from Birmingham, Khan now lives in Sunderland. He shared posts on social media which said Shia Muslims should be burnt alive and, in March last year, had posted an image of the IS flag on Facebook along with text about martyrs. Khan also took to Twitter where he retweeted an IS call to attack US bases in Bahrain.
Police also found pro-IS videos on Khan’s computer after arresting him at his convenience store. When giving evidence, Khan admitted that he “may have come across inadvertently supporting them”. However, Judge Paul Sloan dismissed this defence, stating that the posts represented “deep-seated and calculated thinking”.
After the sentencing, a statement was released where Det Supt Simon Atkinson, head of investigations at Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: “Khan openly disseminated material over the internet that promoted terrorism and hatred of others.”