August 20 2014 Latest news:
Monday, March 17, 2014
A Muslim extremist who posed as a suicide bomber at Finsbury Park Tube station and posted videos online glorifying the killing of Fusilier Lee Rigby has been jailed for more than five years.
Royal Barnes, 23, and his wife Rebekah Dawson, 22 – who received a 20 month term – were sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday after they recorded and uploaded three videos shortly after the murder in Woolwich in May 2013.
The films, which went beyond acceptable free speech and encouraged others to engage in acts of terrorism, showed Barnes and Dawson driving past the memorial to Fusilier Rigby mocking his death and glorifying the murder.
A number of other videos were found at his Hackney home, including him on a vigilante-style Shiria Muslim patrol and another which shows him at Finsbury Park Tube station pretending to be a suicide bomber on the platform in front of other passengers.
The Counter Terrorism Command launched an investigation in June after finding a number of videos glorifying terrorism posted on YouTube.
In June last year, officers from the specialist unit searched their home and found a laptop with unedited footage together with intro sequences and theme music which had been combined together to create videos of a professional appearance before being posted to YouTube.
Their investigation established Barnes and Dawson to be behind the production of the videos.
A Facebook post was also found on the computer in which Barnes offered to give his car, a three-door Vauxhall Astra, and cash to anyone who beheaded a British, American or French soldier in Muslim lands.
Dawson was also found to have sent links to the videos to a number of associates with an extremist mindset.
The husband and wife team were arrested in August; Barnes pleaded guilty February 12 to three counts of dissemination of a terrorist publication, while at an earlier hearing Dawson pleaded guilty to three counts of dissemination of a terrorist publication. She also pleaded guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court last month to a single count of intimidating witness Daudi Yusuf, a security guard at the Finsbury Park Mosque in St Thomas’s Road – several weeks after he was involved in a row with Barnes.
Temporary Commander Duncan Ball, head of the Counter Terrorism Command (SO15), said: “Disseminating violent extremist material and encouraging others to carry out acts of terrorism are serious offences and I hope today’s sentences send out a clear message that we will arrest and prosecute those responsible.”