A teenage terrorist has been sentenced to eight years for grooming a young man with learning difficulties to carry out a Lee Rigby copycat killing.
Kazi Islam, 19, tried to persuade 19-year-old Harry Thomas to buy the ingredients for a pipe bomb and to attack one or more soldiers with a kitchen knife or meat cleaver on his command. He encouraged the older youth to start calling himself Haroon instead of Harry and attempted to radicalise him with stories of innocent children murdered by military forces.
But Islam’s schemes were foiled when Mr Thomas failed to buy any of the right ingredients for a bomb and let slip to “a few friends” what they were up to.
The defendant, who will serve his sentence in a young offenders institute, denied wrongdoing, saying that he only talked to Mr Thomas about getting the components for a bomb as an “experiment” in radicalisation.
But following the trial at the Old Bailey, Islam, of Meanley Road, Newham, east London, was found guilty of engaging in the preparation of terrorist acts.
Sentencing, judge Richard Marks QC told him that his behaviour towards Mr Thomas, who suffered from Aspergers syndrome and ADHD, was an aggravating feature.
He said: “Even on your own account, that you knew he was an extremely vulnerable young man, your treatment of him was as callous as it was manipulative.”