Italian national on trial accused of having al Qaida magazines

26-year-old Italian national had al Qaida propaganda magazines including instructions on bomb-making “in the kitchen of your mum”, a court has heard.

Salim Youssoufi, who was living in Small Heath in Birmingham at the time of his arrest, is alleged to have kept information of a kind likely to be useful to a terrorist between September and December last year.

Four separate publications were discovered on his mobile phone following his arrest in December 2019, jurors at Birmingham Crown Court heard on Friday.

Youssoufi is facing four counts of intentionally downloading the documents, including a summer 2010 edition of al Qaida’s “Inspire” periodical, which had a front cover article entitled “make a bomb in the kitchen of your mum”.

In the al Qaida magazine there was an article by Osama bin Laden on climate change and another by a different author on how to wage “individual Jihad”, said prosecutors.

Jurors heard the married electronics engineer, who studied in Florence, Italy, also told police after his arrest how he made a recording pledging allegiance to the head of Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

It is also alleged Youssoufi downloaded the autumn 2010 edition of Inspire, featuring a “virtual guide to becoming a terrorist”, also penned by Bin Laden.

One story written for the periodical described creating the “ultimate mowing machine”, by welding sheet-steel blades to the front of a 4×4.

It states the “idea is to use the pick-up as a mowing machine – not to mow grass but to mow down the enemies of Allah”.

Youssoufi, who was assisted during the hearing by an Italian interpreter, is also accused of having a winter edition of the magazine, with a front page article entitled “destroying buildings”.

It is further alleged he had a special edition, published in November that year, released to mark the bombing of a UPS cargo plane in September 2010.

Prosecutors have alleged Youssoufi “deliberately” downloaded the documents via the Telegram app.

Opening the case, prosecuting barrister Matthew Brook said: “On 13 December the defendant was arrested and his mobile seized.

“Contained on that telephone were four documents – electronic files – which contained terrorist information

“It’s a magazine called Inspire, a periodical magazine issued by the al Qaida organisation in the Arabian peninsula.

“You might be surprised to hear al Qaida publish a magazine – but it did.

“On its front cover it tells you what’s in the magazine.

“At the top, it says ‘may our souls be scarified for you, Shaykh Anwar al-Awlaki’ and in the middle of it it says ‘make a bomb in the kitchen of your mum’.”

Within its pages, Mr Brook said there was an article entitled “open source Jihad” which contained “detailed instructions” on building bombs.

The Crown’s barrister said: “In this section is ‘make a bomb in the kitchen of your mum’, and what follows is information, the prosecution say, that would clearly be useful to a person committing or preparing to commit an act of terrorism.

“There are detailed instructions of how to construct a bomb, if you’re so minded, in your kitchen.”

The article tells readers: “My Muslim brothers, we are conveying to you our military training right into your kitchen to relieve you of the difficulty of travelling to us.”

Another article is entitled the “message to the American people” by al-Awlaki, in which he had written “Jihad against America is binding on myself just as it is binding on every other able Muslim”.

Further on in the edition, the publication states: “This magazine is a virtual how-to guide to becoming a terrorist.

“They can become a virtual member of al Qaida and learn how to carry out terrorist attacks in the comfort of their own homes.”

Mr Brook added that users could either choose to manually or automatically download images from Telegram channels or chat groups.

He said jurors would hear evidence that when data specialists analysed Youssoufi’s phone “the settings the defendant had on Telegram on his phone meant the size of the files of four Inspire magazines would have required him to choose to download them, deliberately, rather than them download automatically”.

Mr Brook added an Islamic State “propaganda video” showing an execution was also found on the defendant’s phone, with an edited version played to jurors.

Youssoufi, of Coventry Road, Birmingham, denies any wrongdoing and the trial continues.

READ: Islamic State supporters jailed for sending money for fighters

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Categories: Al Qaida magazines, Birmingham, Bomb in the kitchen, Italian national, News, Salim Youssoufi

Racist coughed on Muslim family and told them “there you go” in Leeds

A racist coughed on a Muslim family and told them “there you go”, targeting a husband, his pregnant wife who wears the hijab and their child, when out shopping in Leeds.

The assault took place on the afternoon of September 21, just days before local lockdown restrictions took effect in the city on September 25.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reported a day later that rates of coronavirus (Covid-19) over a seven-day period in the city were 108 cases per 100,000 people, with 8.4 per cent of those tested returning positive results. In early September, the BBC reported that the seven-day infection rate for the city stood h0ad risen to 32.5 cases per 100,000 people.

It is within this context that the family wanted their story told anonymously and worry that the perpetrator will continue to target others unless caught.

Speaking to Tell MAMA, a family member described how the man singled them out, having walked from a distance before stopping to cough on them and then walking away into the crowds, identifying them by their South Asian ethnicity and the religious clothing of their wife.

Tell MAMA encouraged them to report the racist assault to West Yorkshire Police given the CCTV in the area.

Nor is this the first coronavirus-related assault reported to our service, as back in March, a racist coughed in the face of a Muslim woman and told her that he had the virus.

The family are, however, thankful that no one has since displayed any symptoms.

They described the perpetrator as being a white male in his mid-to-late forties or early fifties, who carried a bottle of what they believe to be alcohol.

You can get advice from our confidential and free helpline on 0800 456 1226. Or through our free iOS or Android apps. Report through our online form. Or contact us via WhatsApp on 0734 184 6086.





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Categories: assault, Coronavirus, cough, COVID-19, Leeds, News, West Yorkshire Police