Crime

Kennington woman jailed for being ‘Twitter Terrorist.’

Alaa Abdullah Esayed

Alaa Abdullah Esayed jailed for three and a half years. Image: Met Police

An Old Bailey judge has jailed a woman responsible for thousands of posts on Twitter encouraging people to engage in terrorism.

22 year old Alaa Abdullah Esayed from Kennington received three-and-a-half years imprisonment.

She also used Instagram to post graphic pictures of corpses and prisoners about to be beheaded as part of her social media campaign.

Her social media profile of a woman in a burka with one finger raised and holding a Kalashnikov was listed by Al Qaida as among the 66 most important jihadist accounts.

She had been investigated by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15).

Her defence lawyer Tanvir Qureshi said:

Yes, she is a Twitter terrorist but she is a Twitter terrorist who lacked creativity. She did not have a blog. She was blindly cutting and pasting.

She’d previously pleaded guilty to encouragement of terrorism contrary to section 1(2) of the Terrorism Act 2006 and dissemination of terrorist publications contrary to section 2 (1)(a) of the Terrorism Act 2006.

Esayed used her Twitter and Instagram accounts to tweet thousands of messages, images and links to videos and terrorist-related material online.

From her accounts, she sent nearly 60 messages a day – almost exclusively encouraging terrorism.

When her account was shut in May 2014, she had tweeted over 45,000 messages.

She also tweeted various links to documents and videos to terrorist material online, including speeches and propaganda material posted by terrorist organisations.

Esayed was arrested at her address in south London on 3rd June, 2014 by officers from SO15.

Judge Charles Wide said:

The material you were disseminating encouraged young men to go and fight and you now accept that was your intention and furthermore to encourage women to go to support them and indeed to bring up their children in the belief that it is their duty to take up arms to wage violent jihad and embrace martyrdom.

Commander Richard Walton, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said:

Terrorism will not be defeated until we silence those who inspire others to commit terrorist acts. We will prosecute anyone using the internet and social media in this way.

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