A man has been jailed for encouraging terrorist acts after posting a photo of a terrorism victim’s severed head.
Ajmal Shahpal used Twitter to urge others "to commit, prepare, or instigate acts of terrorism," including decapitating those who insult Islam.
The 41-year-old, of Birkin Avenue, Radford, Nottingham, had also praised the killer of Samuel Paty, a French school teacher, calling him "as brave as a lion".
Despite denying the offences, Shahpal was found guilty in March at Birmingham Crown Court and has now been jailed for five-and-a-half years.
Speaking directly to Shahpal, Judge Melbourne Inman KC said: "You expressed extreme Muslim ideology, which included the immediate murder by beheading of anyone considered to have committed blasphemy against your religion.
"You did not know who read your messages or where they were in the world."
The judge continued to say it was clear the jury rejected his account, and cannot complain of the delay in the trial because he demanded it.
Opening the Crown’s case against Shahpal, prosecutor Dan Pawson-Pounds said: "This is a case about terrorism, that is the encouragement by this defendant of others to commit acts of terrorism.
"He did that by publishing tweets on his Twitter account which specifically encouraged others to behead those who he believed had insulted his religion, his religion being Islam."
Jurors sent some tweets on his open account on 26 September 2020, a day after Charlie Hebdo’s former office in Paris was targeted for a second time by Islamic extremist Zaheer Hassan Mehmood.
Mehmood’s stabbing attack was “both vicious and incompetent” and came five years after 12 people were killed in an attack on Charlie Hebdo’s offices, the court heard.
Jurors were told Shahpal expressed support for extremists who had attacked those he viewed as blasphemers, including Mr Paty, who was killed on 16 October 2020.
During his evidence, Shahpal claimed he was retweeting other people’s views "just to have some more followers".
He will serve a 12-month extended licence period after his five-and-a-half year sentence.
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