Worthing man sentenced for terrorism offences
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THIS RELEASE IS ISSUED ON BEHALF OF COUNTER TERRORISM POLICING SOUTH EAST (CTPSE);
A man from West Sussex has today (23/11) been jailed for terrorism offences following an investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE).
At a hearing at the Old Bailey, 21-year-old Zakaria Yanaouri, of Congreve Road, Worthing, pleaded guilty on 22 June 2020 to five counts of possessing material likely to be of use to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, contrary to Section 58 of the Terrorism Act (2000).
Yanaouri, who was arrested by detectives following a pre-planned operation at his home on 24 February 2020, was found to have a number of banned examples of Daesh propaganda, including extremist publications.
When searching his digital devices, investigators also found videos of executions, images of jihadi fighters and audio files of pro-Daesh music.
He was charged on 29 February and sentenced today at the Old Bailey to five years imprisonment reduced to 32 months for an early guilty plea.
A Serious Crime Prevention Order (SCPO) will also be in place for five years to disrupt Yanaouri from future online terrorist activity following his sentence.
Posters were discovered in his possession, which have been linked to a proscribed group and were produced by extremists.
Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, Head of CTPSE, said: “There is no doubt that Yanaouri’s mind-set is that of someone who had come under the influence of the warped ideology of Daesh.
“There is absolutely no excuse for possessing documents promoting proscribed groups, regardless of ideology. Anyone continuing to support such organisations can expect to be found and brought before the courts.
“I’d like to pay tribute to the officers working on this case, as their efforts have resulted in another potentially dangerous individual being given little option but to admit to the offences.
“Although there has been no indication that Yanaouri had formed plans to carry out an attack, it’s vitally important that people demonstrating such an extremist mind-set are apprehended before it can develop into plans to harm other people.
“A new website has just been launched designed to help and support those who have spotted changes in the behaviour of someone close to them.
“The Act Early website is aimed at parents, family members and friends.
“Research shows that those who are closest to a person are far more likely to see subtle changes in character and hints of extremist behaviour, which may be the first indication a loved one is being radicalised.
“If you have any concerns a loved one may have been groomed or radicalised in anyway, please take a look to get the information to help those people choose a different path, away from hatred and violence.”
Chief Inspector Sarah Leadbeatter, Sussex Police commander for Adur, Worthing and Horsham District, said: “I’d like to thank local residents for their patience and understanding during the operation. The operation was not in response to any specific threat to our local area.
“This prosecution shows that reports of extremism are treated with the utmost seriousness. We would continue to urge anyone with information on such matters to contact police immediately.”
Every year thousands of reports from the public help police tackle the terrorist threat. If you see or hear something that doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts and ACT by reporting to police in confidence at gov.uk/ACT.
Reporting won’t ruin lives, but it could save them. Action Counters Terrorism.
Remember, in an emergency, always dial 999.