A 17-year-old boy spread Isis propaganda and bomb-making instructions manuals to others in an encrypted messenger app, a court has heard.

The teenager from Chingford discussed moving to Syria and waging war against “the Kaffars” after joining a group calling themselves “Peace” on the Telegram Messenger app.

The teen, who is in Year 10 and “above average” at school, was initially radicalised when he saw other pro-Isis images on Instagram before being led to the Telegram group

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how the group would discuss the Al Qaeda magazine Inspire 4, and how the boy shared a two-minute video giving instructions on how to make a suicide vest.

In one conversation discussing explosive vests in the encrypted group chat, the boy questioned: “What is that Play-Doh looking thing lol.”

The court saw a video the boy shared of a man wearing red gloves making an explosive device with the black flag of Isis in the background accompanied by music.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admits two counts of distributing acts of terrorism and one count of possession of a terrorism document.

When the teen’s phone was seized an analysed a full copy of Al Qaeda propaganda magazine Inspire 4 was discovered.

The court also heard that the boy’s mobile phone had a picture of a man holding a severed head.

He is due to sit his GCSEs next summer and is planning on studying at sixth form.

A note from his headteacher read out in court said he was a “pleasant boy” but often “doesn’t think about the consequences” of his actions.

There was also evidence heard about the boy discussing an article on blowing up buildings and how to get the “maximum effect”.

In the group chats the boy said the AK-47 was the “standard weapon of choice” and told others: “To know that Jihad is your purpose.”

Prosecutor Lucy Organ said the contents of the group chat showed the teen had a deeply radicalised mindset.

She said: “He shared a two-part guide on how to reach pro-Jihadi groups, how to enter Syrian borders and how to get to safe houses.

“There is also evidence in these chats of the boy trying to raise funds for travel by stealing iPhones in changing rooms to sell.

“The boy was interested in martyrdom and travelling to Syria for jihadi purposes and he was making plans to travel there to fight.

“He actively encouraged and shared acts of terrorism and encouraged others to join him.”

Defending, Fallon Alexis, said the boy has shown a clear willingness to change his ways.

She said: “His presenting risk factors no doubt are there but he is of previous good character with no convictions.

“In addition he has an extremely supportive family and in relation to that if you want to hear from them then they are present.

“He recognises now how childish it was and how the behaviour is not what he should have been doing.

“He did have a desire to travel to Syria because of what was said to him. But he does believe that Islamic State is extreme and that they do not represent Islam.

“He is clearly a bright man with academic ability that you have seen.

“He has shown a willingness to engage, therefore enabling him to provide this court an opportunity for him to rehabilitate himself within the community.”

District Judge Emma Arbuthnot judge later told the boy’s parents, who sat on either side of him in the public gallery, not to blame themselves as it is impossible to monitor a child’s online activity all the time.

He will be sentenced later this week.


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