Sheffield dentistry student had 'ISIS and al-Qaeda aligned' video that teaches viewers how to behead, garrote and stab, court told

A Sheffield dentistry student accused of terrorism offences was in possession of a 'training' video that teaches viewers how to garrote, behead and stab and appears to support Islamic State and al-Qaeda, a court heard.

Tuesday, 28th November 2017, 3:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th November 2017, 3:53 pm
Police from North East Counter-Terrorism Unit (NECTU)had swooped on Awan's Sheffield address in Dun Street onJune 1 this year, just after Awan bought a bag of 500 ball bearings off the internet on May 29

Jurors in the trial of Mohammed Abbas Awan were shown extracts from a video entitled Commander Hamzah Zinjibary's Training Camp at Sheffield Crown Court today.

The video was found on a thumbdrive seized from the 24-year-old.

Detective Sergeant, Adam Walker, of the North East Counter Terrorism Unit (NECTU), told the court that the video appeared to be aligned with Islamic State and al-Qaeda and that the Islamic State flag could be seen held up towards the end of the 36-minute long video.

Taking jurors through different sections of the video selected by the prosecution, DS Walker continued: "It provides training style demonstrations on how to use a knife to kill someone.

"It demonstrates beheading and garroting."

He added: "I would say it's definitely [aligned with] Islamic State and potentially al-Qaeda as well."

The video shows lines of men dressed in black balaclavas and white robes with a black belt demonstrating a variety of training moves in what prosecutor Simon Davis described as a 'makeshift gym'.

They are also shown driving a Range Rover over a section of the desert, before getting out of the vehicle, attacking a target with knives and getting back into the vehicle.

The court was also told how Awan, a dentistry student at The University of Sheffield, was also in possession of a book called How To Survive In The West which describes how to make a makeshift bomb, how to use ball bearings as shrapnel as well as how to be a sleeper-cell. It tells the reader they will need to live a double life, and how to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

Police from NECTU had swooped on Awan's Sheffield address in Dun Street on June 1 this year, just after Awan bought a bag of 500 ball bearings off the internet on May 29.

The ball bearings were delivered to the family home on Rudding Street in Huddersfield.

Items recovered by counter-terror officers included 11 mobile phones, 16 memory sticks, and around 60 SIM cards, containing a host of terrorism related material.

The defendant's brother, Rizwan Awan and his partner, Sophie, had travelled from Manchester Airport to Istanbul, Turkey on May 17, 2015 and appears to have joined Isis, the court heard.

The brothers were then in contact with each other in August 2015, before reports emerged that Rizwan killed himself as a suicide bomber in Iraq in March 2016.

Awan claims one of the devices, a memory stick that contains some of the material the case is concerned with, including 'How To Survive In The West' belonged to his brother and he had kept it for 'sentimental reasons'.

But the prosecution argue Rizwan Awan's own digital devices had been reset to factory settings and wiped clean before he travelled to Syria.

Asked about his purchase of ball bearings Awan, told police it was nothing to do with terrorism and claims to be a keen angler and hunter who was planning to use them to hunt rabbits with a catapult.

Awan denies three terror-related charges; two of possession of a document or record containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. He also denies a single count of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts or assisting others to commit such acts.

The trial continues.