Today at Preston Crown Court Craig Allan Slee, 42, was sentenced for four offences under the 2006 Terrorism Act.
Craig Slee of Trawden Crescent, Preston initially pleaded “Not Guilty”, but 3 weeks before the case was to be tried he changed his plea to “Guilty”. He was sentenced for possession of a CS Gas Spray canister and disseminating terrorist publications from which he posted links on a Facebook account set up in the name of Hashim X Shakur.
He also posted a document titled “Communiqué from Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb: to our Fellow Muslims in Tunisia” on facebook. Other material included “The Execution of American Soldier Nick Berg”, a video of the beheading of Nick Berg an American who was captured during the Iraq conflict and other similar footage. He also posted several promotional videos that appeared to glorify terrorism and encourage people to engage in terrorism. No privacy settings were applied so the material posted was accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
The court was left in no doubt that Slee created the videos in order to encourage people to rally to the terrorist cause. The material was intended to glorify acts of terrorism and encourage recruits. It was highlighted that he had linked up with other apparently Jihadist Facebook accounts and analysis of his computer revealed searches showing his interest in extreme Islamist issues and violence.
However, the court was also told that there was no intention that Slee would commit an act of terrorism, and that he had no means to do so.
A police spokesman stated that it was “clear that Slee was a total fantasist. He had no links whatsoever to any terrorist organisations, was not a radical convert and there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest he engaged in any attack planning….While Slee may not have been planning any sort of attack, he could easily have influenced someone else with the propaganda he was uploading”
Slee was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment and subject to the notification requirements of the Counter Terrorism Act 2008 for a period of 15 years.