Benwell man accused of terrorism offences by posting ISIS videos on Facebook tells court: 'I believe I am Jesus Christ'

Abdulrahman Alcharbati Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

An engineer accused of encouraging acts of terrorism by posting ISIS videos on his Facebook account told jurors he believes he is Jesus Christ.

Abdulrahman Alcharbati is standing trial accused of offences under the Terrorism Act, which he denies.

Jurors at Newcastle Crown Court have been played videos which Alcharbati posted on his social media account, including footage of suicide bombings and executions.

Prosecutors say as well as posting ISIS videos, he also had a bomb-making manual on his phone.

The 32-year-old, of Westholme Gardens, Benwell, Newcastle, who told counter terrorism police he was merely reporting the news, when in the witness box to give evidence in his defence.

The former Sunderland University student told jurors he has a long history of mental illness and was admitted to psychiatric hospital in 2008.

He said since that time, he has believed he is a "prophet" or "Messiah".

Alcharbati told the court:

Abdulrahman Alcharbati Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Alcharbati has told jurors he has ended up on trial in front of them because of his mental state.

Alcharbati, who has been diagnosed as being bipolar, told jurors he has tried to hide his mental illness and not comply with medication over the years.

Alcharbati told jurors he took longer than other students to complete his degree, which he finished in Turkey, and to achieve his Master of Science in engineering management at Sunderland due to his illness.

The court has heard Alcharbati made 400 different postings onto his Facebook news feed between January 24 and February 26 last year and a total of 110 of them referred to Islamic State or martyrdom, it is claimed.

Jurors were told he had been repeatedly warned that his "extremist" postings about the conflict in Syria contravened the social media site's rules and had his account suspended on occasions.

The court heard, despite the bans, the married dad, who is originally from Syria, posted six "terrorist publications" on his profile, which had 5,000 "friends", in the course of one day in February last year.

Prosecutors say the videos, which show men in military uniform being murdered, praise martyrs and promote suicide bombings, could "encourage the watcher to commit acts of terrorism".

The court heard after counter-terrorism police raided his home at Noble Street, Sunderland, officers seized his phone and found a bomb-making manual titled "Easy Explosives 4th Edition".

Alcharbati told police "I just posted the news".

He denies six offences of dissemination of a terrorist publication and one of possession of a document containing terrorist information.

The trial continues.