Violent raps were ‘drill music parodies’, alleged Isis-supporting terror plotter told police

Sahayb Abu, seen in a selfie sent to his brothers, denies preparing acts of terrorism (Metropolitan Police)
Sahayb Abu, seen in a selfie sent to his brothers, denies preparing acts of terrorism (Metropolitan Police)

An alleged terror plotter told police that recordings where he called himself an Isis supporter and rapped about violent ways of killing non-Muslims were “parodies”, a court has heard.

Sahayb Abu, 27, purchased a sword, knife, body armour and balaclavas before his arrest on suspicion of preparing an act of terrorism.

The Old Bailey has been played videos and audio messages, including a rap sent to two of his brothers on 5 July that ended with the words: “My shank [knife] penetrate ya, got my suicide vest - one click, boom, and I'll see you later.“

In reference to the 2013 terror attack where two Islamist extremist murdered a soldier, Abu said: “I'm trying to see many Lee Rigby’s heads rolling on the ground.”

He added: “I shoot up a crowd cos I'm a night stalker, got my shank, got my guns - straight Isis supporter - reject democracy ... advocate sharia supporter.”

Abu denies planning a terror attack and on Thursday, jurors were told details of his explanations during police interviews.

The court heard that in his first police interview on 15 July, Abu refused to answer questions and his solicitor read a prepared statement.

“I have not been preparing, encouraging or inciting any acts of terrorism,” it said. “[Police have shown] personal videos of me that were shared between me and my family for comedic value.

”I parody many drill urban rap videos and artists. I accept I am a fan of drill artists, who often glamorise street life while wearing balaclavas and body armour.“

Abu also recorded himself singing in the style of Islamic nasheeds, which the Old Bailey heard were a type of song that had been appropriated by Isis for propaganda purposes.

The jury were previously played a recording of Abu singing: “No matter the way the wind blows, I will always be down with my bros, I will always be ready to eliminate the foes.”

Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan Police

He sent videos of himself wearing a balaclava and hat to his brother Muhamed, 32, who is accused of failing to disclose information on the alleged attack plot to authorities.

In one video, played to the court, Abu talked about ”militant born, militant wear“ and ”militant camo“.

Jurors heard that he purchased an 18-inch sword, a knife, combat vest, hat, balaclavas and gloves online.

In his prepared statement, Abu told police any items purchased were legal to own in the UK.

After being presented with evidence that he had conducted more than 130 online searches for Isis or Islamic State, and viewed the terrorist group’s propaganda videos, the defendant said he had “scoured videos online” to see if he could spot two of his half-brothers.

The court heard that Wail and Suleyman Aweys travelled to Syria to join Isis in 2015, and that their relatives were later told that they had died.

Another half-brother, 25-year-old Ahmed Aweys, was jailed in January 2019 for disseminating a terrorist publication, according to agreed facts read in court.

Police found an Isis flag inside the flat where Abu was living in Goodmayes, east London, alongside an iPhone containing evidence of the viewing of Isis propaganda videos, including footage of battles, suicide bombings and executions.

The gloves and balaclavas were found inside the flat, but jurors were told that the sword and body armour purchased by Abu were not dispatched after intervention by the authorities.

The court heard that Abu discussed smuggling guns into the UK with an undercover police officer, but did not attempt to order a firearm.

In a police interview on 16 July, Abu said there was “no snowball’s in hell chance of me committing an attack”.

He said that a jihadist chat group he joined on the encrypted Telegram app was “hot air”, where members had been “talking s***”.

Abu said that he had been trying to meet a potential wife online, and was “showing off as a soldier-type man”.

Abu, of South Norwood in London, denies preparing an act of terrorism. His brother, Muhamed, of Dagenham, denies failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism. The trial continues. 



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