A Tower Hamlets Crossrail guard has been jailed for six years for attempting to join Islamic State in Syria.
Shamim Ahmed, 24, from Shadwell was stopped at the Syrian border in Turkey and came back to Britain last year. Police found extremist material on his mobile phone, which he had used to research the terrorist organisation, and how to join.
Ahmed pleaded guilty to preparation of terrorist acts and was sentenced at the Old Bailey to six years in prison, with a year added on licence. He said he “only recognised sharia law”.
This was not the first time Ahmed had been connected to extremist activity. He admitted threatening to damage a bookshop if it sold copies of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, shortly after a terror attack at the publication’s offices in January 2015.
He also pleaded guilty to two counts of malicious communications in November 2015 and was given a suspended sentence. The previous year, he had sent an email to the then-Prime Minister David Cameron threatening to wage jihad and slaughter against Israel and its allies, saying: “We are coming for you soon for revenge. Just wait and watch.”
Commander Dean Haydon of the MPS Counter Terrorism Command said: “Ahmed has admitted his intention was to join ISIS, a terrorist organisation, at a time when there was no doubt of the atrocities that they were committing. Working with the Turkish authorities we were able to stop him and bring him to justice here in the UK.”
Given Crossrail’s access to sensitive sites across London, Ahmed’s position working there may be questioned.