Terror accused discussed guns with undercover police officer, court told

Old Bailey

Sahayb Abu, of Dagenham, is on trial at the Old Bailey. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

A man accused of plotting an attack during the pandemic discussed guns with an undercover officer after saying knives did not do "much damage", a court has heard.

Unemployed Sahayb Abu, 27, of Dagenham, allegedly bought an 18-inch sword, a knife, balaclava, gloves, hat and combat body armour before he was arrested on July 9 last year.

The Old Bailey has heard he chatted about firearms with an undercover police officer he met through an Islamic State supporters' Telegram chat group.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, the officer, known as Rachid, said he was already a member of the 30-strong Servants of the Unseen group when Abu joined.

In one discussion about guns, Mr Abu, using the handle Tariq Bin Ziyad, said that in the UK "cops are seizing Skorpions and Uzis (types of gun) just lying around collecting dust".

On June 26 last year, he allegedly commented on an image of a man being beheaded saying: "Ha ha ha that kuffar (non-believer) is gone, head taken off its body."

In the group chat, he allegedly went on to refer to a stabbing incident at a Glasgow hotel that occurred that day in which six people, including a police officer, were seriously injured.

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He allegedly wrote: "That's the thing, there's only knives in the UK, it's not going to do much damage."

Rachid, using the handle Abu Hamza, replied: "There's guns trust me."

The jurors were told that Mr Abu responded: "Yes, there is guns but it's underground bro. Criminals are selling it."
The officer went on: "The truth bro, I would never buy a gun from the UK."

The court heard that Abu said: "It's possible but wallahi (I swear) these kuffar (non-believers) got jinns and shaytaan (devils) working for them, they don't sleep Akhi (brother).

"They constantly plot and plan like human devils."

The discussion continued about smuggling guns, the court was told.

Mr Abu denies preparation of terrorist acts. His brother Muhamed Abu, 31, of South Norwood, south-east London, denies failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism.

The trial continues.