Daesh supporter convicted for encouraging terrorism in UK

Shehroz Iqbal (Met Police)
Shehroz Iqbal (Met Police)

An Islamic State (Daesh) supporter, who promoted the global terror group on social media including through a video that called for an attack in central London, has been convicted of terrorism-related offences following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command.

Shehroz Iqbal, 29, from east London, was found guilty at the Old Bailey court on Tuesday of one count of dissemination of terrorist material, contrary to Section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006, and one count of encouragement of terrorism, contrary to Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006. He will be sentenced for the convictions at a hearing next month.

“Shehroz Iqbal is a volatile man with an extremist mind-set who has now been brought to justice,” said Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met Police”s Counter Terrorism Command.

“Thanks to the vigilance of Counter Terrorism officers, we identified Iqbal’s illegal activity and were able to prevent him from carrying out something far more harmful,” he said.

Detectives from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command arrested Iqbal after they found he had shared a Daesh propaganda video on his open Facebook page.

Following an investigation, Iqbal was arrested on April 6 and subsequently charged with dissemination of terrorist material.

At the time of his arrest, Iqbal claimed that he had been high on drugs and posted the Daesh propaganda video without looking at it.

However, ongoing analysis of Iqbal’s media devices by Met Police detectives found that he had also uploaded, to a WhatsApp group, footage of himself in central London with words which included, “attack, attack” – the inference being Iqbal was encouraging others to carry out an attack at various locations.

Following this discovery, a further indictment of encouragement of terrorism was added in July.

Iqbal denied posing a threat or wanting people to feel threatened and claimed that the reference to “attack, attack” was him practising dog commands as he wanted a German Shepherd like a pet named Rocky from when he lived in Pakistan.

But prosecutor Kate Wilkinson told the court that he posted the video in an extremist WhatsApp group to urge “like-minded associates” to carry out terror attacks.

The 22-strong group, named From Dark To Light, included a notorious Islamist preacher known as Abu Haleema and the London Bridge terror attack ringleader Khuram Butt.