Takeaway chef jailed for five years after spreading Islamic State's message


A takeaway chef and father of six has been jailed for five years after he was convicted of spreading Islamic State's message and planning to travel to Syria.

Mohammed Kahar, 37, from Sunderland, was convicted by a jury of 10 terror charges following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

Mrs Justice Andrews said the defendant had taken steps to go to Syria with the intention of going to fight for IS.

His interest in the terror group began as early as October 2013, and he spread their message using multiple online accounts, trying to convince friends and relatives that they should also support IS.

"You bought into the propaganda of Jihad absolutely," the judge told him.

Kahar was convicted of preparation of a terrorist act and five counts of disseminating terrorist publications.

He was also guilty of a funding offence and supporting a proscribed organisation.

He had told the jury he did not support violence, and killing other Muslims was against Islam.

Anne Whyte QC, prosecuting, said the offending was aggravated by its scale.

Toby Hedworth QC, defending, said: "If he had got himself to Syria, the prospects of the defendant doing very much, I think, are very much remote in the extreme."

The judge said she did not consider him to be dangerous, and therefore requiring an extended sentence.

She said the businessman had led a "hitherto blameless life".

Outside court, Detective Chief Superintendent Clive Wain, head of the North East Counter Terrorism Unit, said: "It is clear from the evidence that has been presented that Kahar openly supports Isis and their ideology and used an array of means to further spread the chilling words of this terrorist organisation.

"As the jury have concluded. Kahar was also willing to take this interest further demonstrating a clear desire to travel to Syria to fight. The evidence shows he took active steps in preparation of travel and reflecting his aim of going there to fight for a proscribed organisation.

"Kahar has never considered the consequences of sharing and glorifying the disturbing propaganda that terrorist groups publicise. He has used social media, a tool that most people use entirely legitimately, as a platform to share documentation that clearly encourages others to commit terrorist acts.

"Today's verdict I hope sends out a strong message that actions such as those carried out by Kahar will not be tolerated and ourselves, together with policing colleagues and other partner agencies, will bring those who are breaking the law to justice."