A jury has found Sheffield woman Zafreen Khadam guilty of offences under the Terrorism Act at Sheffield Crown Court.
Khadam (pictured) has been found guilty of 10 counts contrary to Section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006 – Dissemination of Terrorist Publications. She has been sentenced to four and a half years in custody.
The verdict and sentence follows an investigation led by the North East Counter Terrorism Unit, supported by South Yorkshire Police.
Detective Chief Superintendent Clive Wain, Head of the North East CTU, said: “It is clear from the evidence presented that Khadam openly demonstrated support for Daesh and their ideology, using multiple social media accounts to further spread the propaganda of this terrorist organisation.
“Khadam has not disputed posting the information, claiming she did so out of curiosity and the belief that she did not consider it to be terrorist material. Yet this material glorified terrorism and delivered powerful messages, encouraging terrorist acts and calling upon others to kill.
“Khadam was prolific in her use of social media and showed little regard for the consequences of openly sharing deeply disturbing images and material across a number of digital platforms. Much of this material encouraged violent action and was very extreme in the violence it portrayed.
“During the course of this investigation specialist officers from the North East CTU have reviewed hundreds of hours’ worth of videos and thousands of social media postings. Over a five week period, Khadam, tweeted up to 20,000 times.”
Police feared that had she not been arrested, Khadam may have attempted to travel out to Syria.
Detective Chief Superintendent Clive Wain said “The reach and influence of social media is vast. Daesh and other groups are increasingly using the internet to encourage support for their objectives and to provoke individuals to carry out attacks in the UK. Therefore tackling extremist material is important to protect the public and prevent offences that incite or encourage acts of terrorism. It is also vital that collectively we make every effort to stop people becoming radicalised online. We rely on the public for information and urge anyone who comes across extremist or terrorist material online to report it using the confidential STOP button atwww.gov.uk/reportterrorism
“Today’s verdict I hope sends out a strong message that actions such as those carried out by Khadam will not be tolerated and ourselves, together with policing colleagues and other partner agencies, will bring those who are breaking the law to justice.
“It is also important to reiterate that our priority is the safety of our communities. We will bring those who have committed a criminal offence before the courts, however we would much prefer to stop people from crossing into a path of criminality.
“We can intervene at an early stage and steer people away from becoming involved in terrorist activities and provide tailored assistance through the Prevent Strategy and Channel Project.
“If you have concerns about a loved one then you can seek help through your local police. The earlier you contact us, the more likely we, along with partners can intervene and prevent your loved one becoming criminalised. The Prevent Tragedies website contains help and advice for those who are concerned about a loved one,www.preventtragedies.co.uk.”