Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Isis-Inspired Murderers Killed Respected Imam for Using 'Black Magic' ; Former United Steward Holds His Head in His Hands as He Is Found Guilty

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Isis-Inspired Murderers Killed Respected Imam for Using 'Black Magic' ; Former United Steward Holds His Head in His Hands as He Is Found Guilty

Article excerpt

A FORMER Manchester United steward has been jailed for life for the Isis-inspired murder of a respected Rochdale imam.

Mohammed Syeedy, 21, has been convicted of helping to kill Jalal Uddin, 71, in a brutal hammer attack in Rochdale on February 18 this year because they considered he was practising 'black magic.' .

Syeedy, and work colleague Mohammed Kadir, 24, were said to have developed a hatred of Mr Uddin because he used a form of healing involving amulets, known as taweez, which are said to bring good fortune.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Isis disapproves of the practice and believes those who engage in it should be killed.

The prosecution argued Syeedy intentionally assisted and encouraged Kadir to attack Mr Uddin in a children's play area in South Street.

The Crown said he provided the murder weapon on the night and also acted as getaway driver after they killed Mr Uddin.

Mr Uddin suffered multiple injuries to his head and face in the attack, after he visited the nearby Jalalia Mosque for evening prayers and a friend's house for a meal.

Kadir, of Chamber Road, Oldham, boarded a flight three days later from Manchester to Copenhagen in Denmark, followed by a connecting flight to Istanbul.

The whereabouts of the ex-John Lewis call centre worker are unknown, although it is thought he could have travelled to Syria.

Following Syeedy's arrest on suspicion of murdering Mr Uddin, police found a large volume of alleged Isis-related material on various devices belonging to him at his family home.

Giving evidence in the four-week trial, the Rochdale-born Muslim said he was not a follower of Isis and was 'disgusted' about the death of Bangladeshi national Mr Uddin.

He said the brutality of Isis had touched him and his family personally with the death of abducted taxi driver and aid volunteer Alan Henning.

Syeedy said he met Mr Henning, 47, at a number of charity events and his elder brother was a close friend who was on the convoy to Syria in which the Salford father was kidnapped in December 2013. He was later executed.

Syeedy explained the so-called Isis symbols in his possession were merely testaments to his faith and said the terror group had hijacked them for their own ends. …

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