IS supporter pleads guilty to encouraging terrorism on Twitter

An Islamic State supporter has admitted encouraging acts of terrorism by sending abusive tweets about Shia Muslims.

Mohammed Zahir Khan, 40, of Nora Street, Sunderland, shared messages on social media saying "death to shias", describing them as "dirty and filthy shiite scum" and calling for them to be burnt alive.

He also admitted tweeting on January 2 2017: "Welcome to the year of fear."

Khan shared a terrorist publication, referred to at Newcastle Crown Court as "an ISIS call for attacks", on Twitter.

Via a videolink from prison, he admitted encouraging terrorism, dissemination of a terror publication and stirring up religious hatred.

The prosecution did not accept his basis of plea that he was merely reckless and a trial of the facts will be held in May.

Judge Paul Sloan QC warned Khan: "You will understand a custodial sentence is pretty much inevitable."