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15 Jun, 2017 13:27

ISIS-supporter who emailed PM threat to ‘wage jihad’ was hired on Crossrail security

ISIS-supporter who emailed PM threat to ‘wage jihad’ was hired on Crossrail security

A jihadist arrested for attempting to join Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria sent menacing emails to then-Prime Minister David Cameron before just five days before he was hired as a security guard on London’s Crossrail project, a court has heard.

Shamim Ahmed, 24, who has been jailed for six years after he was arrested in January 2016 while attempting to cross the Turkish border, had sent an email to the then-Tory leader saying he would “wage jihad.”

The email, sent in July 2014, was titled “Terrorist Israel.”

“Something needs to be done to stop Israel or we Muslims will get our revenge,” it read, according to the Telegraph. 

“We will wage jihad and slaughter every Israeli and their allies.” 

Despite the email, Ahmed was appointed as a security guard on Crossrail, a massive construction project to expand London’s rail network, just five days later.

Besides issuing threats to Britain’s leader, he also reportedly sent emails to the Australian government, UK education regulator Ofsted and a Sun newspaper journalist saying: “May the British child burning soldiers burn in hell ... cowards piss on their graves.”

Prosecutor Mark Weekes said that by 2014, when the Islamist bought a ticket to Istanbul but changed his mind and did not depart, Ahmed was already “sending links to videos that appeared to be supportive of the Islamic State group to contacts in his WhatsApp group.”

Before his latest arrest, Ahmed, from East London, was already known to authorities for sending death threats to staff at The French Bookshop in South Kensington in January 2015.

He accused the shop of selling the Charlie Hebdo magazine, which he claimed is “against Muslims,” and cautioned that if it carried on doing so there would be “major retaliation.”

The threat’s subhead said: “Protect your neck while you are still alive.” 

His threats came soon after the magazine’s headquarters in Paris was attacked, killing 12 people.

A week after his first threat, he made two further calls to the bookshop and told the owner, “I’m going to come and stab you, I’m going to come right away and blow up the shop: I’m not afraid of the police, I’m a Muslim.”

Ahmed admitted to two charges of sending malicious communications and was given a 20-week suspended sentence, on top of 300 hours of unpaid work and a sum of £1,680 ($2,139) in fines and costs.

However, just a couple of months later in January last year, Ahmed was once more detained for trying to cross the Turkish border into Syria to join Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

He pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to preparing acts of terrorism.

Facing the court on Wednesday, he pointed at Judge John Bevan QC and warned him: “Give me 20 years, I will come out the enemy.”

He also hit out at a dock officer and said: “Move the f**k out of my face. I’m going to punch you in the face.”

When he called on others to “wage jihad wherever we are … Target the civilians, tourist sites, tourist sites, inshallah [God willing],” the judge ordered for the accused to be sent back to his cell.

“The defendant originally refused to have anything to do with the court process,” Bevan said.

“This afternoon I would have hoped he would have been on his best behavior. He wasn’t, and I have asked for him to be removed and will continue in his absence.”

After telling a probation officer that Islam is a “religion of war” and that he wanted to live in Syria under sharia law, Ahmed was deemed an “offender of particular concern.” 

He must now serve one year on probation when released, and has also been handed a notification order for 15 years.

Ahmad’s case raises questions about the authorities’ counter-terrorism measures as it follows news that one of the perpetrators of the London Bridge attack at the beginning of the month that killed eight was a London Underground worker. 

Transport for London (TFL) confirmed Ahmed, who was already known to the MI5 and police after being investigated in 2015, had been working for London Underground as trainee customer services assistant for six months before leaving in October 2016.