UK jails man who encouraged terrorism in Bangladesh, violence against Hasina


A British court has sentenced a man to three years in jail for encouraging acts of terrorism in Bangladesh through messages posted to social media.

Munna Hamza, 50, of South London was convicted of three counts of encouraging terrorism contrary to the Terrorism Act 2006.

He will spend an additional year on licence when he is released, according to the verdict delivered by Woolwich Crown Court on Mar 19.

Hamza also encouraged violence against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government on social media, the Metropolitan Police in post on their website on Monday.

Hamza was arrested in July 2018 by officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command after a member of the public reported messages Hamza had posted on social media encouraging acts of terrorism against the Bangladeshi government to police, according to the post.

“I praise the member of the public for alerting us to Hamza’s harmful, extremist posts. As a result, we were able to prevent him from publishing further incitements of violence and terror which could have had devastating consequences,” said Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.

“I hope this case sends a message that we will seek to prosecute anyone who seeks to instigate acts of serious violence by posting extremist messages.

"Every year, thousands of reports from the public help police tackle the terrorist threat and I would remind everyone to remain vigilant and help us by reporting anything at all suspicious to police. If you see or hear something that doesn’t seem right, even if it is online, trust your instincts and act by reporting to police in confidence.”

On May 17, 2018, a member of the public alerted police to Hamza’s posts from the previous day. Counter Terrorism officers carried out a thorough investigation and initially identified five posts of concern. Within his posts, Hamza called on others to commit serious acts of violence in Bangladesh against the Bangladeshi prime minister and government.

Officers arrested Hamza at his place of work in south London and seized his computer, phones and memory sticks for forensic examination on Jul 4 that year. He admitted to publishing the posts and he was bailed.

The Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit or CTIRU, part of the Counter Terrorism Command, assessed the posts and found they were likely to be in breach of UK terrorism legislation.

Subsequently, Hamza was charged on Jan 28, 2019 with four counts of encouraging terrorism.

At Woolwich Crown Court on Jan 13 this year, Hamza was found guilty of three counts of encouraging terrorism.

These were for three posts made between Sept 1, 2015 and Jun 24, 2018.



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