Ataubaq Taj of Hacking Street, Salford, was sentenced today (Wednesday 4 November 2020) at Manchester Crown Court (Crown Square) to six years – five of which are to be spent in jail.
Last month (Thursday 15 October), a jury found Taj guilty of section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 – possessing a document or record which contains information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.
The court heard how Taj had downloaded and stored several files of propaganda material onto his phone, laptop, USB drives and CDs.
These exhibits were shown to the jury, including a video from IS demonstrating the most effective ways of killing with a knife and how to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Two men are murdered during the video.
Taj was arrested by officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North West (CTPNW) on two occasions; the first in July 2019 and the second in January earlier this year.
On Thursday 18 July 2019, officers attended Taj’s previous address in the Accrington area of Lancashire to execute a search warrant and arrested him on suspicion of terrorism offences.
While at the address, officers found a USB stick seemingly hidden in Taj’s shoe to which Taj disputed and said it had fallen through a hole in his trouser pocket and ended up in his shoe – there was no hole in Taj’s pocket.
The subsequent examination found several items of propagandist material from IS stored on Taj’s possessions and he was later arrested on Wednesday 8 January 2020 at his new Salford address.
The strength of the evidence seized by detectives from Taj’s devices formed a compelling case, with the jury’s deliberation lasting just over an hour before their unanimous guilty verdict was given to the court.
Taj has now been ordered to serve five years in jail and an additional year on license after his release from custody.
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Meeks, of CTPNW, said: “Today’s result comes after months of meticulous investigating from our officers to ensure that Ataubaq Taj has been brought to justice for his possession of dangerous propagandist material.
“While there were no known plans for Taj to put into action the material he was consuming, it was nevertheless alarming that he was storing so much of this dangerous digital media on his devices.
“Counter Terrorism Policing North West takes such offences extremely seriously and I hope this case reaffirms our commitment to do all that we can to keep our communities safe from those who consume such material and harbour such dangerous and divisive ideologies.”
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