Terror plot accused discussed obtaining guns with undercover officer, court told

Emily Pennink, PA Old Bailey Correspondent

A rapper accused of plotting an attack during the pandemic discussed guns with an undercover officer after saying knives did not do “much damage”, a court has heard.

Unemployed Sahayb Abu, 27, allegedly bought an 18-inch sword, a knife, balaclava, gloves, hat and combat body armour before he was arrested on July 9 last year.

The Old Bailey has heard how he chatted about firearms with an undercover police officer he met through an Islamic State supporters’ Telegram chat group.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, the officer, known as Rachid, said he was already a member of the 30-strong Servants of the Unseen group when Abu joined.

In one discussion about guns, Abu, using the handle Tariq Bin Ziyad, said that in the UK “cops are seizing Skorpions and Uzis (types of gun) just lying around collecting dust”.

Abu brothers court case
Sahayb Abu, 27, wearing a face covering and combat hat in one of a series of homemade videos he sent to his 32-year-old brother Muhamed Abu on June 30 last year (Met Police/PA)

On June 26 last year, he allegedly commented on an image of a male being beheaded saying: “Ha ha ha that kuffar (non-believer) is gone, head taken off its body.”

In the group chat, he allegedly went on to refer to a stabbing incident at a Glasgow hotel that occurred that day in which six people, including a police officer, were seriously injured.

He allegedly wrote: “That’s the thing, there’s only knives in the UK, it’s not going to do much damage.”

Rachid, using the handle Abu Hamza, replied: “There’s guns trust me.”

The jurors were told that Abu responded: “Yes, there is guns but it’s underground bro. Criminals are selling it.”

The officer went on: “The truth bro, I would never buy a gun from the UK.”

The court heard that Abu said: “It’s possible but wallahi (I swear) these kuffar (non-believers) got jinns and shaytaan (devils) working for them, they don’t sleep Akhi (brother).

“They constantly plot and plan like human devils.”

The discussion continued about smuggling guns, the court was told.

On June 30, Abu met the officer face to face for the first time, the court heard.

Abu told him about his two brothers, Wail and Sulaiman, who are believed to have died in Syria.

According to transcripts of recordings read in court, Abu asked if he could get “silah”, said to be code for guns.

Rachid told jurors: “This whole conversation is about getting hold of a firearm, a gun.”

Sahayb Abu, of Dagenham, east London, denies preparation of terrorist acts.

His brother Muhamed Abu, 31, of South Norwood, south-east London, denies failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism.

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