Counter-terror chief praises tip-off that led to conviction of IS recruiter

Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism chief today made a fresh appeal to Londoners to report any potential dangers as he hailed the actions of a man whose alert about a Facebook message led to the conviction of an Islamic State recruiter in the capital.

Commander Dean Haydon said that “anyone who sees something online that they have even the slightest feeling could be terrorist or extremist-related” should report it to police. 

His plea came as he revealed that officers had been put on the trail of an “active” recruiter for IS by a man living overseas who had raised the alarm after receiving a private message on Facebook urging him to join the terror group.

Police investigated and found that the recruiter, Mohammed Kamal Hussain, a Bangladeshi visa overstayer living illegally in east London, had “barbaric” videos of IS violence, as well as “warped” reasons for killing children, on his internet devices. 

Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism chief Commander Dean Haydon has appealed to Londoners to report any potential dangers

Hussain, 28, had also made Facebook posts encouraging terrorism, including a speech from the so-called “leader” of IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and was last week convicted at Kingston crown court of encouraging terrorism and membership of a banned organisation. 

Commander Haydon, the head of Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command, said the tip-off had proved crucial and had helped police bring a dangerous terrorist to justice.

Mr Haydon said: “This investigation started with one conscientious individual trusting his instincts and reporting something suspicious. 

“He could have ignored the message Hussain sent him but instead he took a screenshot of the message and contacted the UK authorities immediately. 

“It is in great part thanks to him that police were able to bring Hussain to justice.” 

Mr Haydon said that once the investigation started, officers from the Met’s specialist counter-terrorism internet referral unit had identified Hussain’s terrorist activities by trawling through thousands of messages sent on Facebook, Telegram and WhatsApp.

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“Hussain was actively seeking to recruit Daesh [IS] followers,” he added.

“We know from the disturbing material we found on his devices that he supported Daesh. 

“The material included videos of barbaric Daesh violence and warped reasoning for killing people.

“I encourage anyone who sees something online that they have even the slightest feeling could be terrorist or extremist-related, to follow this example. Please report it to police via the Action Counters Terrorism website.”

Hussain was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.

Anyone wanting to report concerns should go here.

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