Mitcham man guilty of terrorism offence after attempting to join ‘violent’ Somali branch of Al Qaeda
A would-be terrorist from Mitcham who tried to join a ‘militant and violent branch’ of Al Qaeda was today convicted of intending to carry out or assist acts of terrorism today.
Trevor Mulindwa, 21, was arrested at Heathrow Airport on September 17, 2014 on his way to Mogadishu in Somalia, and is due to be sentenced at Kingston Crown Court next month.
After converting to Islam in approximately August 2013, he became radicalised and interested in Al-Shabaab, a particularly violent branch of Al Qaeda who have been involved in terrorist atrocities in Somalia and Kenya and have also planned attacks against the UK.
Commander Richard Walton, of the the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command (S015), said: “We are now faced with the challenge of radicalised British nationals attempting to join many different terrorist groups in a variety of different countries.
“We will continue to do all we can to stop their travel to prevent them becoming trained terrorists and potentially returning back to the UK.”
When Mulindwa was arrested, the police discovered six films on his phone with a terrorist theme – some were news documentaries, while others displayed Al-Shabaab propaganda.
One film revolved around a UK jihadi who left the country to join a terrorist group in Syria.
Commander Walton has urged the Muslim community in the past to contact the police if they know of anyone planning to join a terrorist group abroad.
If you know anyone who may be drawn to terrorist activity, contact police on 101 or visit www.preventtragedies.co.uk for further guidance.