London law student jailed for possessing ten copies of Al Qaeda magazines

Afsana Kayum, 22

A London law student who wrote letters to jailed cleric, Abu Hamza al-Masri, has been jailed for possessing numerous copies of Al Qaeda’s “Inspire” magazine.

Afsana Kayum, 22, kept every issue of Al Qaeda’s propaganda magazine on top of her parents’ wardrobe.

She stored 10 issues of “Inspire” on a USB stick along with several jihadi YouTube videos.

During the trial, the University of East London student, said: “I heard about [Hamza] in the media and I found it absolutely disgusting the way they described him — as a one-eyed, hook-handed man — I work with people who are disabled so I found it absolutely disgusting, I felt really sorry for him.

“I’m very public about my letters, I always put my name and my address on the back, I know they are going to be scanned and kept by the prison.”

Kayum came to the attention of police last May after posting videos on YouTube “praising jihad”.

Officers went to her Plaistow home twice because they were concerned  she was at “risk of radicalisation”.

Steven Gray, prosecuting, said: “They were there to offer help, if indeed she wanted it … she was provided with a number to contact the police.”

Police returned a third time in September with a search warrant, seizing Kayum’s mobile phone, her letters and the family’s laptop.

Using an extendable mirror, officers discovered the USB stick on top of the wardrobe in Kayum’s parents’ room.

Kayum admitted downloading the material but said she was only interested in the theory of jihad.

She was convicted of possessing a record containing information contrary to the Terrorism Act last month.

Snaresbrook crown court also heard  she had also been texting Ruksana Begum, who was jailed aged 22 in 2012 for possessing two copies of Inspire.

Jailing Kayum, Judge Martyn Zeidman said: “I reject, as the jury did, many of the incredible explanations that you gave in the witness box … your attempt to pull the wool over their eyes failed.”

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