NEWS
02/03/2018 15:20 GMT | Updated 02/03/2018 17:03 GMT

Man Guilty Of Trying To Recruit 'Army Of Children' For Isis-Inspired Attacks

'He showed them graphic terrorist videos of barbarity'

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Self-styled teacher found guilty of trying to recruit an “army of children” for a series of Isis-inspired attacks

A self-styled teacher has been found guilty of trying to recruit an “army of children” for a series of Isis-inspired attacks across London.

Umar Haque, 25, was found guilty at the Old Bailey of two charges of preparing for acts of terrorism.

Though he had no teaching qualifications, Haque was allowed to supervise Islamic Studies classes at a school in east London, during which he showed students videos of beheadings and re-enacted attacks on police officers. 

Haque was accused of attempting to radicalise more than 100 students at the fee-paying Lantern of Knowledge school, and many of the children are now reportedly receiving long-term support to help them recover from the experience. 

The 25-year-old had pleaded guilty to four charges of collecting information useful for terrorism, and one count of disseminating a terrorist document.

He was acquitted of conspiring to possess firearms. Jurors were unable to agree on a further count of disseminating a terrorist document.

After he was found guilty Haque shouted: “I want to say something”. He was dragged out of the dock by officers as he continued to shout.

Commander Dean Haydon, the head of counter-terrorism command at Scotland Yard, said: “His plan was to build an army of children. He had shown them graphic terrorist videos of barbarity - beheading videos and serious injuries mostly in terrorist attacks overseas.

“He had instructed children not to say anything in relation to not telling their teachers or their parents. We had a wall of silence.

“He tried to prepare the children for martyrdom by making them role play terrorist attacks in London. Part of that re-enactment including attacking police officers.”

Haydon added that the 35 children in long-term support were “paralysed in fear” by Haque. “He threatened them if they were to talk. It doesn’t appear that any of those children raised the alarm.”

Two men, Abuthaher Mamun and Muhammad Abid, were convicted of their roles in helping Haque.

Mamun, 19, was found guilty of preparing for acts of terrorism by assisting Haque in planning an attack, and of trading options in order to finance it.

Abid, 27, was found guilty of failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism relating to Haque.

The schools watchdog, Ofsted, is now facing questions over how it was able to rate the £3,000-a-year school as “outstanding” after an inspection held at a time when Haque was preaching hate to the children, the Guardian reports