Man jailed for five years for calling for jihad in mosque

Abu Bakr Deghayes. Pic: Sussex Police

A man who gave a speech at a mosque in which he encouraged worshippers to go on jihad has been jailed.​

Abu Bakr Deghayes, of Saltdean in Brighton, was found guilty of encouraging terrorism under Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006 following a trial at the Central Criminal Court in January.​

On Thursday he was sentenced to four years imprisonment with one year on licence.

The 53-year-old was arrested and charged after making an uninvited speech at Dyke Road Mosque in Brighton in November 2020.

In a video of the speech played to the court, Deghayes said: “Whose power is more powerful than us? Allah is more powerful than you. You, idiots. You kuffar (non-believers)… The non-believer is an idiot. He’s stupid.”

He went on to say: “Jihad, jihad, jihad. Jihad is compulsory. Jihad is fighting by sword. That means this jihad is compulsory upon you, not jihad is the word of mouth but jihad will remain compulsory until the Day of Resurrection.”

Deghayes is the father of two teenage boys who were killed fighting in Syria. Another of his sons was killed by a convicted drug dealer.

Asim Takriti, the chairman of the mosque, reported Deghayes to police after being concerned by his speech.

Mr Takriti told ITV News Meridian: “There were not only men, but also women and children present, which was a major concern to the mosque management. My concern was those kind of speeches could have a negative impact on children’s minds, and their future thinking.”

He added: “I’m thankful to the authorities for taking swift action and now he’s been sentenced today. Our mosque is a peace-loving community, and we do not believe in hate speeches or inciting violence. Everybody is a friend.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Oliver Wright, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE), said: “Deghayes used a toxic rhetoric that could radicalise others, but his destructive views were rejected by the community he was preaching to.​

“In the speech he made, he was at risk of persuading others to take action and follow his extremist view of the world but, due to the diligence and awareness of the people it was directed at, his actions were reported, and he was subsequently convicted of this serious crime.​

“It is vitally important that people have the courage to report their concerns to the police when they witness extremism being promoted in this way. We rely on those who see or hear this sort of messaging, to have the confidence to report it.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone within the community who supports and assist police officers during investigations of this nature. We can only fulfil our mission of keeping our communities safe by working together.”​

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