A man who tried to recruit ISIS fighters around the world from his London home has been jailed after one of his targets turned him in.
Mohammed Kamal Hussain, 28, sent thousands of messages aiming to generate support for the terrorist group using Facebook, WhatsApp and the Telegram messaging service.
Police only discovered his activities after a man who lives outside the UK emailed the Home Office in March 2017, saying he had received a Facebook message from a stranger inviting him to join ISIS.
Hussain, a Bangladeshi national who had overstayed his visa and was living in east London, was jailed for seven years at Kingston Crown Court.
The jury found him guilty of two counts of encouraging terrorism and one count of supporting a proscribed organisation.
Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “This investigation started with one conscientious individual trusting his instincts and reporting something suspicious.
“He could have ignored the message Hussain sent him but instead he took a screenshot of the message and contacted the UK authorities immediately. It is in great part thanks to him that police were able to bring Hussain to justice.”
Hussain was linked to the message by the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit, which specialises in identifying and seeking the removal of terrorist material, and an urgent investigation was launched.
Detectives trawled thousands of messages sent by Hussain, including Facebook posts encouraging people to join Isis and launch attacks and which included a speech by leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Commander Haydon said the fanatic was “actively seeking to recruit Isis followers”, adding: “We know from the disturbing material we found on his devices that he supported Isis.
“The material included videos of barbaric Isis violence and warped reasoning for killing people, including children and Muslims.”
Officers from Counter Terrorism Command arrested Hussain on 30 June.
He was sentenced after officials warned of the rising threat of “remote radicalisation” online, which makes plots harder to detect.
Isis has generated support around the world using its sophisticated propaganda network, including videos, radio bulletins, magazines, newsletters and websites.
The terrorist group’s media operations suffered a hit during military offensives that drove militants out of its self-declared “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq but have since recovered.
Propaganda messages are regularly sent out in multiple languages from Isis factions operating in countries including Afghanistan, Egypt and Libya, being translated and spread onwards by supporters.
A global crackdown on terrorist material by firms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has seen the vast majority of Isis propaganda on the platforms removed, but it continues to operate on Telegram and smaller sites.
Earlier this month, the Home Office announced the launch of artificial intelligence technology that can identify Isis propaganda videos and prevent them from being uploaded to any video platform.
“This Government has been taking the lead worldwide in making sure that vile terrorist content is stamped out,” Home Secretary Amber Rudd said.