Teenager threatened with jail unless family stop him promoting “jihadist” propaganda

Anwar al-Awlaki.

A 17-year-old teenager from Ilford, east London, has been threatened with jail unless his family prove they are doing all they can to stop him from promoting “jihadist” propaganda.

The teenager was tracked down for distributing flyers and CDs of controversial American-Yemeni preacher Anwar al-Awlaki.

After an investigation, the boy has admitted creating flyers and CDs which were found in prayer rooms in two of London’s biggest hospitals.

The CDs were found to contain a series of lectures by the banned cleric al-Awlaki, who was linked to al-Qaeda and was killed in an extra-judicial drone strike.

Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot said: “This boy is nearly 18. This is a very serious offence. I’m going to need to know all I can about the family.

“If there’s no family stopping this from happening I’m going to lock him up, quite frankly.”

The youth was linked to the flyers and CDs using DNA evidence and his home was raided last October.

Police seized a number of disks identical to those found at the hospitals, as well as the computer used to produce the flyers.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court with his parents on Thursday where he pleaded guilty to two charges of encouraging and assisting the commission of a terrorist offence between December 2016 and October last year.

He further admitted one count of providing a service to assist an act of terrorism.

Adjourning sentencing until March 5, Judge Arbuthnot said to the defendant: “I need to work out what I’m going to do with your sentence.

“I have to make sure that if I don’t lock you up there’s a very robust package of measures in place. If you were over 18 I would lock you up, no problem.”

She praised his parents for attending court, saying: “It’s the most difficult thing for the parents because obviously they are very worried about the child and often this comes from nowhere.”

The youth was granted bail on condition he live and sleep at his home address, surrenders his passport, and reports to his local police station three times a week.

 

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