Co-accused of cleared Chesterfield man jailed for terror plot

A supporter of so-called Islamic State (IS) has been jailed for 15 years for preparing to commit acts of terrorism.

Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 12:50 pm
Farhad Salah.

Farhad Salah, of Brunswick Road, Sheffield, was found guilty of the offence following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

His co-accused Andy Star, a former Chesterfield fish and chip shop owner, was cleared of preparing to commit acts of terrorism after jurors failed to reach a verdict.

During a five-week trial, prosecutors said that Salah, 24, and Mr Star, 32, were in the early stages of testing small improvised explosive devices when they were arrested in high-profile raids on their homes - a Sheffield community centre and the Mermaid Traditional Fish on Sheffield Road, Chesterfield - in December 2017.

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Farhad Salah.

Mr Star has always insisted that gunpowder and other items found in his flat above the fish and chip shop were all connected to his long-standing interest in fireworks.

After being cleared by jurors, Mr Star spoke of the suffering he has endured.

He will not face a third trial but will continue to be detained on immigration matters.

Andy Star, who was cleared of preparing to commit acts of terrorism.

'Unapologetic, confirmed supporter of IS'

Sheffield Crown Court was told how the pair were planning a 'driverless car' terror attack in the UK - but a specific target was never identified.

At the opening of the trial, prosecutor Anne Whyte told jurors Salah was active on social media and was vocal about his support for IS.

He was also found to have shared an IS propaganda film which glorified terrorism.

During sentencing on Wednesday, prosecutor Dan Pawson-Pounds said Salah had a 'leading role' and used Star's expertise to manufacture explosives.

Mr Pawson-Pounds said: "He's an unapologetic, confirmed supporter of IS.

"It's clear from the way he communicates with other IS supporters and extremists that he plays a leading role in terms of guidance and advice."

Mitigating, Sam Green said: "His offending was categorised by ineptitude.

"He had, not even on the prosecution case, got beyond the most rudimentary stage; in terms of preparation, in terms of his more grandiose proclamations on social media."

Salah spoke quietly to his interpreter as the sentence was passed.

He did not appear to react as he was taken down to begin his jail term.