Edinburgh man jailed for posting pro-ISIS messages on Facebook

An Edinburgh man who posted messages in support of ISIS on Facebook has been jailed for two years, The Guardian reports.

Mourad Mosdefaoui, 34, an Algerian who entered the UK seven years ago, put three posts on Facebook from September 2014 to March 2015 celebrating the group and their acts.

One showed a photograph of him holding a notepad with Arabic text: “The Islamic State will remain and expand, God willing.”

In another, he wrote he was troubled to be “living in a country of blasphemy” and appeared to suggest he would be willing to fight in Iraq and Syria.

More than 11,000 images were later found on a mobile phone in his possession, a number of which showed imagery and propaganda associated with ISIS.

Mosdefaoui admitted posting the messages at a hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month, where he pleaded guilty to two charges under the Terrorism Act 2006 and the 2010 Identity Documents Act.

The court heard that Mosdefaoui had witnessed war crimes while serving in the Algerian army and made pro-ISIS comments in response to “atrocities committed in Syria by the Assad regime”. Since then he had come to “strongly oppose the organisation”, the court heard.

Niall McCluskey, defending, said on Wednesday: “He very much regrets his behaviour and he is remorseful for it. He realises that he was naive and stupid to post the matters he did and as far as he is concerned, this has been a big lesson for him in respect of what he has done.”

Sheriff Frank Crowe jailed him for a total of two years when he returned to court for sentencing on Wednesday.

Procurator fiscal depute Calum Darling had previously told the court: “The messages posted by the accused celebrate the terrorist acts of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The messages amount to encouragement of support for a proscribed group and may be inferred to encourage acts of terrorism generally.”

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