A man who acted on his extremist views and promoted the so-called Islamic State group on social media has been convicted of terrorism-related offenses following an investigation by the Metropolitan (Met) Police’s Counter Terrorism Command.
Shehroz Iqbal, 29 of east London was found guilty at the Old Bailey court on October 20 of one count of dissemination of terrorist material, contrary to section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006; and one count of encouragement of terrorism, contrary to section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006.
Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “I am very pleased with today’s verdict. Shehroz Iqbal is a volatile man with an extremist mind-set who has now been brought to justice.
“Thanks to the vigilance of Counter Terrorism officers we identified Iqbal’s illegal activity and were able to prevent him from carrying out something far more harmful.
“Every day the national counter terrorism police network is fighting terrorism. However, police also rely on information from the public and I urge everyone to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious at all to police whether they see it online or in the real world.”
Detectives from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command arrested Iqbal after they found he had shared a propaganda video on his open Facebook page. They carried out a thorough investigation and Iqbal was arrested on April 6.
He was subsequently charged the next day with dissemination of terrorist material, and taken into custody. He first appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on April 8.
In the meantime, ongoing analysis of Iqbal’s media devices by detectives found that he had also uploaded to a WhatsApp group footage of himself in central London with words which included, ‘Attack, Attack’ – the inference being Iqbal was encouraging others to carry out an attack at various locations.
Following this discovery, a further indictment of encouragement of terrorism was added on July 27 when he appeared at the Old Bailey for a pre-trial hearing.
Iqbal is scheduled to be sentenced for the offenses at the same court on a date yet to be confirmed.