Islamic State supporter Farhad Salah jailed for 15 years over remote-controlled car bomb plot


The Iraqi-Kurd was in the early stages of testing small improvised explosive devices and planned to inflict “terrible suffering”.

An Islamic State supporter who watched “utterly depraved and sickening” extremist footage, has been jailed for 15 years for plotting to detonate a bomb inside a remotely-controlled vehicle.

Farhad Salah, 24, from Sheffield, had been in the early stages of testing small improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in preparation for an attack when he was arrested in December 2017, jurors heard.

Salah, an Iraqi-Kurd, was found guilty of preparing to commit acts of terrorism after a five-week re-trial at Sheffield Crown Court earlier this month.

Sentencing him to 15 years in jail and three on licence, Judge Paul Watson said Salah had “become wedded to an extremist ideology and was preparing to take action to give effect to those views”.

He said the risk of him causing death or serious injury by his planned use of explosives was obvious.

The judge said Salah’s viewing of “utterly depraved and sickening” extremist footage showed how committed he was.

He said: “Your attitude to extreme violence and loss of life, sometimes in unimaginably horrifying circumstances, indicates clearly to me that you, had you carried your preparations through to conclusion, would have had no hesitation in causing loss of life or the infliction of terrible suffering.”

Anne Whyte QC, prosecuting, said during the trial: “The intention was to manufacture a device which would be placed in a vehicle but controlled remotely so that no one had to martyr themselves in the process.

“Farhad Salah had decided that improvised explosive devices could be made and used in a way here in the UK that spared his own life preferably but harmed others he considered to be infidels.”

The court heard how a week before being detained, he messaged a Facebook contact to say: “My only attempt is to find a way to carry out martyrdom operation with cars without driver, everything is perfect only the programme is left.”

Ms Whyte said that Salah was getting “increasingly desperate” to do something for Islamic State at the time of his plotting.

He had been unable, however, to travel to the Middle East due to his unsettled immigration status, with his application for asylum in the UK still being determined at the time of his arrest.

In the original trial, jurors heard how he and his co-accused, chip shop owner Andy Star, 32, were in the early stages of testing small explosive devices when they were arrested during raids on their homes.

Police found black powder at Salah’s home during the raid.

By the end of the first trial last year, a jury failed to reach verdicts on either of them.


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