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Terror accused “had ISIS flag as phone screen saver”

Terror accused “had ISIS flag as phone screen saver”

A radicalised young man shared a string of terrorist propaganda using a mobile phone emblazoned with the black flag of Islamic State, a court heard.

Taha Hussain, 21, from Slough, attended Islamic "road shows" and became increasingly extreme in the two years before his arrest for disseminating terror documents in August last year, the Old Bailey heard.

When police seized his mobile phone, they found the black flag of IS on his screen saver and his PIN number was 9117 - in apparent homage to the 9/11 and 7/7 terror attacks, the court heard.

Prosecutor Mark Paltenghi told jurors: "It may be that this is a combination of the dates of two of the most significant acts of terrorism this century - the attacks upon the Twin Towers in New York and other targets in America on September 11, 2001 and part of the date of the London bombings on July 7, 2005."

Hussain is on trial accused of nine counts of disseminating terror documents via WhatsApp and Telegram apps and one charge of encouraging terrorism through posts on Twitter.

Over 11 months, Hussain is accused of distributing YouTube videos and audio files on topics including Charlie Hebdo and bombings in Britain and the US as well as a copy of an IS magazine.

Mr Paltenghi said: "In essence, it is alleged that when all this material was sent it was done with the intention that it would be understood by its recipients as a direct or indirect encouragement to the commission, instigation or preparation of acts of terrorism."

The defendant denies all the charges against him.

In July 2015, Hussain sent a WhatsApp message to a group of people of a YouTube video entitled Lions of the UK, promoting jihad, the court was told.

In October of that year, he sent an audio file entitled "For the Sake of Allah" appearing to glorify IS fighters, the court heard.

The following month was marked by the Paris terror attacks, in which a number of people were killed and injured in the French capital.

The night after the atrocity, Hussain and at least one other man allegedly filmed themselves six times driving past the Victoria Barracks in Windsor, which is home of the Coldstream Guards.

A voice on the video points out the barracks are recruiting, adding "so are Dawla (IS)".

In the car, they listened to Islamic chants and discussed their support for the terrorist group, the court heard. One of the men was heard to say: "Wake up you kuffar (disbelievers), when are you gonna wake up?"

Later the same night, Hussain allegedly sent the video to a friend, saying: "I want to show you something." The next day, he sent another WhatsApp message about the Paris outrage purporting to give a "Muslim perspective".