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Dagenham man jailed for life after planning terrorist attack

Sahayb Abu claimed “we need a 9/11 2.0” on the day of his arrest (Credit: Metropolitan Police)

A man from Dagenham has been jailed for life for planning to commit a terrorist attack. 

Sahayb Aweys Munye Abu, 27, bought a large sword, body armour and balaclavas online in preparation for the attack. 

Police launched an investigation into him in March 2020 after concerns were raised about his extremist mindset. 

He attempted to buy several pieces of equipment such as a lock knife, fingerless gloves and a camo-print fisherman’s hat with face and neck cover in May and June 2020. 

Abu bought two weapons and asked about buying firearms (Credit: MPS)

An undercover officer met and befriended Abu online and they met in person on two occasions. Abu spoke to the officer about obtaining firearms during the talks. 

On Thursday, 9 July 2020 he posted a message saying “we need a 9/11 2.0” and was arrested during an armed policing operation.

Officers seized his electronic devices and found dozens of messages, voice messages and videos in which Abu recited lyrics reflecting his extremist views. 

In one song, he referred to himself as a “straight ISIS supporter” and talked about “heads rolling on the ground” and said “got my suicide vest, one click boom and I’ll see you later”. 

Body armour bought by Abu (Credit: MPS)

When interviewed by police, Abu said the items he had purchased were for display purposes and for use in parody ‘drill’ music videos.

On Friday, 12 March has was found guilty of preparation of terrorist acts by an 11-1 majority verdict after a trial at the Old Bailey. 

Today he was sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum of 19 years, at the same court. 

Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Over several months, Abu sought to obtain weapons and the equipment needed to commit a terrorist attack.

“He is an extremely dangerous individual but thanks to the efforts of counter-terrorism officers and MI5, he will now spend a considerable time behind bars where he poses no risk to public safety.

“This is a prime example of how our officers and the security services are working together to keep people safe. Every day, counter-terrorism teams are identifying and targeting individuals and groups with terrorist intent.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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