Immigration · News · NZ Jihadi

Immigrant guilty of “being Muslim”

Jihad, that struggle Muslims have to obey the follow the perfect example for mankind. It’s normal for immigrants to want to follow their home religion. On top of this, Maori Muslims, backed by a federation of Islamic associations here in NZ, have a long history of recruiting and sending jihadi overseas to train and to fight, and supporting locals with shared values. As you can see from the article below, they have a problem. Their imams tell them the Quran is the word of their god, and their prophet is the perfect example of mankind, but all their prophet did was is lie, steal and war. The Quran instructs believers to fight until there is no more unbelief. This young man is only doing what he considers to be “his right”. Here is just another immigrant guilty of “being Muslim”.

Immigrant guilty of "being Muslim"

A man accused of being an Islamic State sympathiser has been found guilty by a jury of possessing propaganda-style material for the terrorist organisation.

However, he has been acquitted on other charges for allegedly possessing a graphic video depicting a prisoner being decapitated and possession of an offensive weapon.

The 32-year-old, known only as S due to an interim suppression order, was on trial in the High Court at Auckland for the past week.

Today, the jury returned verdicts over three charges of possessing an objectionable publication relating to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis).

S was also charged with failing to comply with a police search, for which the jury found him guilty.

The three publications were two audio videos with nasheeds (hymns and chants) and a seven-minute, violently graphic, Isis propaganda video.

S was found guilty of possessing the two nasheed publications but not guilty of possessing the longer video.

The material has since been declared objectionable by the Chief Censor for promoting acts of extreme violence, cruelty and terrorism. It was only the second time the Office of Film and Literature Classification was asked to look at Isis-related material.

Isis, also known by its Arabic name Daesh, is a designated terrorist organisation which at its peak in 2015 held large areas of Iraq and Syria in its quest to establish an Islamic state under Sharia law.

In his own words when giving evidence, S claimed he was interested only in the centuries-old Islamic State established by the prophet Muhammad and learning about his religion.

He was convicted by Justice Sally Fitzgerald of the charges he was found guilty of and remanded in custody until his sentencing in July.

S came to New Zealand in October 2011 and for the first few years of his new Kiwi life showed no signs of supporting extremist beliefs.

However, in autumn 2016 he came to the attention of New Zealand Police. It was because of what was being posted to his Facebook page.

There were videos and pictures depicting graphic war-related violence, comments advocating for violent extremism and support for Isis terrorists involved in the Paris attacks in November 2015 and the Brussels bombing in March 2016.

Police knocked on his door in April and May 2016, giving him a formal warning and advising him possession of such material was an offence against the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993.

S was apologetic, court papers obtained by the Herald record, and said he had shut down his Facebook account.

But in July, S was back on social media after reopening two Facebook accounts.

Police discovered the accounts in October and also found S was operating three separate pages. The accounts were monitored and in December several posts, including videos and photos, concerned police.

It depicted extreme violence and atrocities committed against Muslims, court papers read, including a video described as the Indian Army executing a Kashmiri civilian, another of a body being driven over by a tank, and images of dead and mutilated children.

In March 2017, police conducted a specific content search of shared posts and content on Facebook and identified S had operated – since September 2015 – another account under the name of “For Allah”.

Two months later, he was arrested at Auckland International Airport.

S was about to leave on a one-way flight to Malaysia and travel on to Singapore. He later said he was going for a holiday.

A search was also carried out at his apartment in May 2017.

A large hunting knife was found under his bed, which S later told his High Court jury was for his own protection.

His iPhone was also seized but S refused to provide the password. He told police the posts were shared because he wanted to show others what was happening to Muslims throughout the world.

Remanded in custody and denied bail, S would later plead guilty in June 2018 to representative charges of knowingly distributing restricted publications and other unrelated offences over credit card use. Police withdrew a charge relating to the knife.

In September 2018, Justice Edwin Wylie imposed a sentence of supervision.

However, in the time between pleading guilty and being sentenced, S continued his online infatuation with Isis.

While he had initially been scheduled for sentencing on August 7, 2018, the trial heard, he was considering changing his pleas to not guilty.

S entered the High Court at about 8.13am that day and left at about 8.40am, the court heard. During that time in the historic courthouse, however, he searched for “Isis allegiance” and news stories about Islamic State.

The next day he went to an East Tamaki shop and bought an identical hunting knife to the one police had earlier seized.

“Exact same knife, same colour, same price, different place,” S told his jury when giving evidence.

Crown prosecutor Henry Steele told the jury it was “not the sort of knife you’d have in your kitchen drawer”.

The hunting knife, in a camouflage sheath, was couriered to an Auckland mosque, where S was a resident at the time, at his request. His jury, however, found S was never in possession of the knife in a public place – an argument put forth by his lawyer Kieran Raftery QC.

During his evidence, S also said he had a right to arm himself with the knife for protection.

“You’re worried about one knife, I am telling you I will buy 10 knives. It’s about my rights.”

The hunting knife S bought while on bail. Photo / NZ Herald
The hunting knife S bought while on bail. Photo / NZ Herald

While awaiting the delivery of the knife, S frequently checked the track and trace number online, before being arrested at about 4.40pm on August 9, 2018.

Police seized his electronic devices.

He again declined to provide police with his pin code, but his tablet and phone were eventually accessed and revealed a dark and violent internet history from after he was granted electronically-monitored bail.

Steele told the jury he couldn’t take them inside the thoughts of S at the time “but I can get you pretty close”.

The internet history, laid out in an extensive timeline for court, revealed a “window into his mind”.

“We can infer what he’s thinking, what he’s intending,” Steele said.

Internet searches, some of which had been electronically bookmarked, included “safety and security guidelines for lone-wolf mujahideen”, looking for a hunting knife, camouflage pants, Islamic State dress and New Zealand prison clothes and food.

S also made efforts to research the case of Imran Patel, an Isis supporter and the first person in New Zealand jailed for distributing extremist videos. Patel was stopped at Auckland International Airport trying to leave for Syria with a companion.

The internet history on S’s devices further revealed a booklet for Isis operatives to help them avoid detection by Western countries’ security and intelligence agencies.

“How to survive in the west a mujahid guide,” was another Google search.

An internet video also purported to provide instructions on “How to attack kuffar and how to make explosive devices”. Kuffar, or kafir, is an Arabic term used to describe an infidel or non-believer.

The nasheeds, one of which was called “What a victory for he who got Shahada”, and the video were also discovered and later played for the jury. S admitted to posting some of the lyrics on his personal Facebook account.

S was repeatedly searching the internet for Isis-related content. Photo / Getty Images
S was repeatedly searching the internet for Isis-related content. Photo / Getty Images

The Shahada nasheed – a reference to martyrdom – featured a black-clad fighter with a machine gun, Isis flag, and lyrics advocating for Jihad and decapitation.

The other, titled “We came to fill horror everywhere”, depicts men dressed in black with assault rifles, the Isis flag and a city on fire.

“We will drink from the blood of disbelievers,” the lyrics said.

S, who said he watched the nasheed videos several times, told the court: “You guys, making a big thing about the lyrics.”

In explanation, he compared the nasheeds to the haka.

“You guys have Māori war cries,” he told the jury.

The graphic video, described as a “how to kill non-Muslims”, showed a prisoner of Isis having their throat and wrists cut and another running with an explosive device strapped to him before exploding. S was found not guilty of possessing the video, which was viewed only once, the court heard.

Combative throughout the trial with frequent outbursts towards Justice Fitzgerald, S said the Crown had wasted years of his life.

“I thank God, there have been prophets, other prophets who have been to prison,” he said.

“It’s just like a test … You guys put me in prison cause I’m a Muslim and you don’t like my religion, that makes you an enemy. Allah says you will be punished.”

Alleged Isis sympathiser found guilty of possessing objectionable hymns, acquitted of video and knife charges

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from May 19 2021:

An Aucklander is on trial accused of possessing publications promoting acts of terrorism before later buying a hunting knife.

The man, who was a resident at an Auckland mosque at the time of the alleged offences, faces three charges of possessing an objectionable publication relating to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis).

Known only as S due to an interim suppression order, he is also charged with possessing an offensive weapon and failing to comply with a police search.

This morning in the High Court at Auckland, Crown prosecutor Henry Steele told the jury during his opening address such Isis material was “designed to both instruct and inspire”.

Isis, also known by its Arabic name Daesh, is a designated terrorist organisation which captured large parts of Iraq and Syria in its quest to establish an Islamic Sate under Sharia law.

As part of its operation, Isis also attempted to inspire people around world through its success and propaganda to carry out acts of terrorism.

“You no doubt will know of the black flag of Isis,” Steele told the jury.

The material S is accused of possessing – from mid-2018 – is highly graphic in nature and has since been declared objectionable by the Chief Censor for promoting acts of extreme violence, cruelty and terrorism.

Two of the publications include a series of still images with nasheeds (hymns and chants), while the other is a video.

One publication, titled “We came to fill horror everywhere”, displays men dressed in black with assault rifles, the Isis flag and a city on fire. The lyrics include: “We will drink from the blood of disbelievers.”

A second, called “What a victory for he who got Shahada”, features a person in black with a machine gun and an Isis flag. Shahada is a reference to martyrdom, while the lyrics are equally as graphic.

Steele said the lyrics advocate for Jihad and terrorist attacks in countries of disbelievers.

He said S also posted some of the lyrics on his personal Facebook account.

The video, described by Steele as a “how to kill non-Muslims”, shows a prisoner having their throat and wrists cut and a “non-believer” running with an explosive device strapped to him before it explodes.

Steele told the jury they would watch the video during the course of the trial.

The prosecutor said S is charged with possession of each of those three publications, which were electronically bookmarked online, because viewing the material online was sufficient to amount to possession.

“The law is that way to avoid people simply watching them time and again online, never downloading them and saving them,” he explained to the jury.

He said the jurors must decide if S had possession without lawful authority or excuse and whether he had a reasonable cause to believe that publications were objectionable.

Reasonable, Steele explained to the jury, was an objective test by the “person on the street, you”.

“What would the reasonable person make of these publications?”

Steele said S, after looking at other Isis-related material with increasing frequency, then decided to buy a knife and have it couriered to the mosque.

The prosecutor held up the weapon, inside a plastic display, for the court to see.

“As you’ll see it’s not a small knife, not the sort of knife you’d have in your kitchen drawer,” he said.

“It’s a knife with a very specific purpose.”

The hunting knife is also in a camouflage sheath.

While awaiting the delivery of the knife, S was arrested and his electronic devices seized by police in August 2018.

S is accused of failing to comply with the police search by not providing the pin codes to his devices. However, the court heard, he asked police for an interpreter, which was not provided.

Kieran Raftery QC, who is defending S, told the jury in a brief opening statement his client accepted he had listened to the nasheeds and bought the knife.

However, he disputed S was in possession of the knife in a public place and said the man may have had lawful authority to view the video, which was only watched once.

“How was he to know what was in it until he viewed it?”

He said possession of the video was disputed and the defence’s case would become clearer as the trial progressed.

“Mr S doesn’t have to prove his innocence,” Raftery added.

The trial, with Justice Sally Fitzgerald presiding, continues.

Auckland man on trial accused of possessing Isis material before buying hunting knife

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