Mother faces jail for not telling police about son’s involvement in London bombing plot | UK news

Nabeela Anjum did not tell the police what she knew about her son Sameer Anjum’s cooperation with another terrorist. He gave Al Arfat Hassan an ISIS video that taught the extremists how to make a homemade bomb and how to kill a live prisoner with a knife.

Of Duncan Gardham, security journalist

Tue 14 May 2024 15:56 UK

A mother faces jail after failing to tell police her teenage son knew about a terror plot to bomb central London.

Nabeela Anjum, 48, a biomedical scientist at St James’s Hospital in Leeds, tried to get her 15-year-old son to inform his friend, but when he refused, she was unable to take the items in your own hands.

She was found guilty at Leeds Crown Court of two counts of failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism.

Her son’s associate, Al Arfat Hassan, then 19, from Enfield, north London, was watching the same thing. ISIS video tutorial used by Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi and bought two of the three chemicals needed to make a similar bomb.

He repeatedly searched for the ‘rewards’ for martyrs in paradise and filmed himself holding a machete and two bottles of chemicals, before fixing his hair and saying: ‘I have to go out and look nice though. The last moments and that.”

Hassan’s girlfriend, Tasnia Ahmed, now 21, was found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court last month of failing to inform police and is awaiting sentence.

She repeatedly told Hassan that she “loved” his violence and ultra-strict interpretation of Islam, until she caught a cold and pretended to have cancer, causing him to threaten “carnage” if she left him.

Al Arfat Hassan posed with a sword

Nabeela Anjum’s son Sameer Anjum, who can now be named after a judge lifted an anonymity order, provided Hassan with the ISIS video instructing extremists in the West how to make a homemade bomb and demonstrated how to kill a prisoner alive with a knife.

Hassan used the stage name Official TS and made rap videos that began by reveling in gang violence and eventually glorified Taliban and ISIS killings.

Sameer Anjum and al Arfat Hassan spoke regularly on Facetime

He has amassed 13.6 million views and streams on YouTube and Spotify and befriended Sameer, a 15-year-old from Roundhay in Leeds, who promoted his videos on TikTok and started calling himself Young TS.

The two never met, but communicated daily via WhatsApp and Facetime, played the video game Call Of Duty and shared ISIS propaganda videos, talking about their desire for martyrdom and the rewards that awaited them in paradise.

Hassan and the teenager used a simple code, with the words “cupcake” to mean a bomb and “marketplace” as the target, and talked about purchasing miniature light bulbs that could be used as components for improvised detonators.

Sameer pestered his mother to buy him knives, but when she refused, Hassan sent him £50 and used his driving license and a fake email address to buy a hunting knife online which he he showed it to his mother, posing masked in front of a black jihadist flag.

Sameer Anjum posing with a knife

On 17 February 2022, Sameer realized that Hassan was planning to carry out his plan to launch an attack in central London and begged his mother for a train ticket to try to convince him to give up.

She refused and told him to call the police, but he replied: “I’ll literally do everything I can to stop her, but I’m not doing what you said. I could never bring myself to talk to the feds (police) ever.”

However, instead of calling the police herself, Nabeela Anjum told her son to delete all contacts from his phone, adding: “You’re not going to tell him to protect him from doing something and I want to protect my the son”.

Adam Birkby, prosecuting, told the court: “As the adult in the room between these two young people, she should have contacted the police herself and told them about Hassan’s plan.”

Hassan was caught by chance ten days later when he tried to leave the country for Bangladesh and his phone was confiscated and downloaded.

Nabeela Anjum’s concern was “limited to what might happen to Sameer if Hassan’s act of terror had been prevented by her disclosing what she knew to the police”, Birkby said.

He added: “She was not concerned about the potential harm that would be caused to members of the public if she succeeded.

“Ms Anjum puts the protection of her son against the risk of arrest and prosecution above the protection of the public against the risk of Hassan committing an act of terrorist violence.”

Sameer, who spent periods out of school suffering from anxiety and depression, collected more than 140 ISIS propaganda videos, including graphic videos of the execution of captive soldiers, civilians and men killed for being gay.

Nabeela Anjum, who also suffered from depression, was said to be a “loving mother” who had an “unorthodox” relationship with her son where they were more like friends.

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She tried to convince him to cut off contact with Hassan after she became aware that Sameer had increasingly radical views and was making threatening videos and posting them on TikTok under the name Masked Mujahid.

Nabeela Anjum initially told him that Islamic fighters are “nothing but killers in this day and time”, but later told him that there are “truths” in what ISIS militants are saying.

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Abdul Iqbal KC, defending, described Sameer as a “spoiled man, a fool and an angry, hateful bigot” who downloaded and shared “horrible, disgusting and disgusting” material.

“Unfortunately, he is manipulative and misleading people,” Mr Iqbal said. “He can deceive others when it suits him. He tried to mislead his mother and others.”

Hassan was jailed earlier this year for possessing chemicals for terrorist purposes, and Sameer for sharing the bomb-making video and failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism.

Nabeela Anjum denied the two charges she was accused of.

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Detective Chief Superintendent James Dunkerley, head of North East Counter Terrorism Policing, said: “This shows how important it is to report serious information to the police.

“You may think you’re helping and protecting someone by withholding information, but you’re not, and that can make things worse.

“If you are concerned about someone or have noticed worrying behaviour, please feel free to call the National Police Prevention Advice Line and our specially trained officers will listen carefully to your concerns.”

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