Mohamad Al-Bared, a Ph.D. student in the UK, was found guilty last week for providing terror support, including building a home-built drone he intended to provide to ISIS.
During the trial at Birmingham Crown Court, the jury was informed that Al-Bared had intentionally designed a drone to deliver an explosive or chemical weapon into hostile territory on behalf of ISIS. The constituent components for this drone were fabricated using his 3D printer, which was discovered at his residential address.
He was arrested when law enforcement officers conducted a raid at his residence. During this operation, they confiscated a drone, a 3D printer, and various electronic devices, including phones and a laptop.
After thoroughly examining these devices, investigators uncovered a series of conversations that unequivocally demonstrated his support for ISIS, in addition to the presence of extremist material and violent propaganda videos.
Furthermore, during the search of his residence, detectives discovered notebooks containing chemical equations and recipes for creating chemical weapons. Despite Al-Bared’s background in mechanical and chemical engineering, it became evident that these chemicals were intended for use as weapons rather than for academic purposes.
His devices also contained records of discussions in which he detailed his research on transporting the drone into a war zone without detection by authorities. Additionally, he had established a fictitious company to create a pretense of business travel.
Head of Counter Terrorism Policing West Midlands, Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Payne
Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Payne, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing West Midlands, commented, “Al-Bared was a calculated individual, and coupled with his education and expertise in mechanical and chemical engineering, he was clearly very dangerous. He has made a purpose-built drone able to carry explosives or chemicals to be used as a weapon in a war zone; thankfully, he was unable to continue his efforts following his swift arrest earlier this year.”
Payne continues, “The jury heard how security conscious he was going to great lengths to try to hide anything that might lead to his identification. Today’s verdict means a dangerous individual has been taken off our streets; there is no place in our society for individuals intent on participating in terrorism activity. We will continue to work with partners and the CPS to protect our communities by pursuing and prosecuting such individuals. We work tirelessly to counter terrorism. Our absolute priority is to ensure the safety and security of the people who live, work, and visit the West Midlands area.” (Press Release)
Image Credit: Counter Terrorism Policing