‘Terror plot accused watched video on how to make bomb before arrest’

A man accused of plotting a ‘driverless car’ terror attack viewed and 'liked' a number of social media posts showing killings carried out by the Islamic State terrorist group, a court heard.

Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 12:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 1:53 pm
Farhad Salah and Andy Star
Farhad Salah and Andy Star

Farhad Salah is on trial at Sheffield Crown Court alongside Andy Star accused of planning an attack in the UK.

Jurors were today shown a number of Facebook Messenger messages, and posts and videos which the Crown say Salah either 'liked' or shared.

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Farhad Salah and Andy Star

Anne Whyte QC, prosecuting, said that Salah was using the name Farhad Barznjibar on the social media site at the time.

She said on November 11, 2016, Salah liked a video posted on Facebook of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State.

And, Miss Whyte QC, said he also watched a video posted online by Abbas Zedan Kurdi on August 7, 2017, which gave step-by-step instructions on how to produce an improvised explosive device.

Miss Whyte said a series of messages followed on Facebook chat between Salah and Kurdi, which referenced the Manchester Arena terror attack on May 22, 2017.

Police carried out raids at the Fatima Community Centre on Brunswick Road in Burngreave.

The prosecution ran through the data with witness Prabhpreet Badh, a data analyst, who had prepared a timeline of the messages, notes and internet activity.

A number of videos were played to the jury, including one which showed men who were believed to be martyred.

James Bourne-Arton QC, for Salah, told the court the Facebook activity was not posted or shared by his client.

Police pictured outside Mermaid Fish Bar on Sheffield Road, Chesterfield, in December 2017.

The case has previously heard that Salah told police in interview that his Facebook account had been hacked.

But Miss Whyte described that claim as a ‘smokescreen’ and said: “We submit that this is a deliberate false assertion by him to try and distance himself from some of the more incriminating communications.” She added: “We say that he, and he alone, was responsible for all of the activity on the account before he was arrested.”

Salah, aged 24, of Brunswick Road, Burngreave, and Andy Star, aged 32, of Sheffield Road, Chesterfield, both deny preparing to commit acts of terrorism.

The trial continues.