Schoolboy Terrorist Groomed to Murder Non-Muslims Given Two Years' Detention; UK & WORLD NEWS Martyrdom Notes Were Found under Youngster's Bed

Article excerpt

Byline: Melvyn How

BRITAIN'S youngest terrorist was locked up for two years yesterday after being groomed to join a jihadi plot by "fanatical extremists".

Hammaad Munshi was just 15 when he was recruited into a worldwide conspiracy to wipe out non-Muslims, and longed to go abroad and fight.

His parents were shocked when police discovered al-Qaeda propaganda promoting "murder and destruction" on his PC and notes on martyrdom hidden under his bed.

Yesterday his grandfather, a respected Islamic scholar, backed the sentence but warned that the same thing could happen to any family.

Their local MP said the case should act as a "wake-up call" to parents about what their children might be getting up to on the internet.

Munshi, a GCSE student, led a double life, obediently attending school by day and surfing jihadist websites at night.

He was part of a cell of cyber groomers devoted to brainwashing the vulnerable into killing "kuffar", or non-believers.

Munshi, 18, of Greenwood Street, Saville Town, Dewsbury, West Yorks, was found guilty last month of compiling information likely to be useful in terrorism.

London's Blackfriars Crown Court heard that he downloaded files about making napalm, detonators and grenades for himself and terrorist comrades Aabid Khan and Sultan Muhammad.

Sentencing him at the Old Bailey yesterday to two years in a young offenders' institution, Judge Timothy Pontius said: "You have brought very great shame upon yourself, your family and your religion. I have no doubt at all that you, amongst others of similar immaturity and vulnerability, fell under the spell of fanatical extremists, and your co-defendant Aabid Khan in particular.

"They took advantage of your youthful naivety in order to indoctrinate you with pernicious and warped ideas masquerading as altruistic religious zeal.

"Were it not for Aabid Khan's malign influence, I doubt this offence would ever have been committed."

But the judge added: "There is no doubt that you knew what you were doing."

Harendra de Silva QC, defending, said the schoolboy had been subjected to "grooming and manipulation" by others who were "more criminally inclined".

He said Munshi's relatives were "devastated" by what had happened "not least because of the shame that it has brought upon this very upstanding family".

The trial heard Munshi was desperate to go abroad and fight and had internet discussions with Khan about how to smuggle a sword past airport security. …