Enfield man jailed for terrorism offences ‘wanted to kill thousands’

Al-Arfat Hassan, 21, was inspired by Islamic State and had collected knives and chemicals that could be used in an attack

Central Criminal Court and (inset) Al-Arfat Hassan
Central Criminal Court and (inset) Al-Arfat Hassan

An Islamist extremist from Enfield who “wanted to kill thousands” has been jailed for terrorism offences.

Enfield resident Al-Arfat Hassan, aged 21, was sentenced to seven years in prison after admitting possessing chemicals for a terrorist purpose.

A 17-year-old from Leeds, who cannot be named, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for failure to disclose his knowledge relating to the terrorist activities of Hassan.

Both were also convicted of possession of an Islamic State propaganda video which provided detailed instructions on manufacturing explosives, a bomb and killing people with knives.

The pair were sentenced at the Central Criminal Court last week.

Hassan had earlier admitted possessing articles for terrorist purpose, contrary to section 57(1) of the Terrorism Act 2020, between 17th January and 4th March 2022. He had an amount of hydrogen peroxide, according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), “in circumstances which give rise to a reasonable suspicion his possession was for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism”.

At Hassan’s original January 2023 trial he was also convicted of possessing information, contrary to section 58(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2000, between 11th January 2022 and 27th February 2022.

The CPS presented evidence that Hassan and the youth were dedicated to Islamic State inspired extremist beliefs. This included showing the jury a video of Hassan where he held a samurai sword and exchanged messages with another person stating he was “prepared for martyrdom”.

He bought knives and purchased chemicals online that he intended to use to construct an improvised explosive device. One of the knives was of the same type used to carry out an execution featured in the Islamic State instructional video he and the youth had viewed.

He also created drill music videos with lyrics referring to Alan Henning, a British man taken hostage and killed by Islamic State, and James Foley, a US journalist captured and killed in Syria.

Hassan and the youth also downloaded a substantial amount of Islamic State video content that glorified terrorism.

In relation to the youth, the jury was shown evidence that he bought a knife and tried to purchase other knives, in addition to exchanging almost daily extremist messages and graphics over a number of months with Hassan.

Nick Price, head of the CPS counter terrorism division, said: “Al-Arfat Hassan claimed to be a provocative digital music creator, but the evidence was clear that he had a violent, extremist mindset and was taking active steps to prepare to commit terrorist acts.

“Hassan said he wanted to kill thousands, and he had a plan and location in mind. His collection of knives and items to create an explosive device showed these were not idle boasts.

“The youth in this case had a fixation with killing in the name of religion. He told the court that he had been supporting Al-Arfat Hassan through a difficult time when in fact he was enthusiastically encouraging him to carry out a bomb attack.

“Thanks to the work of the UK’s counter terrorism police, and dedicated CPS prosecutors, these individuals have been convicted of these dangerous crimes.”

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