Rapping Jihadist From London on Trial for Planning Terror Attacks
An Islamist rapper in the UK whose two brothers traveled to Syria during the ISIS terror campaign of 2015 plotted a domestic terrorist attack in the mist of the COVID-19 pandemic, a court in London heard this week.
Sahayb Abu, 27, from Dagenham, east London, purchased a Persian “Qama knife” — which is said to look like a sword — a smaller knife, a combat vest, two balaclavas, fingerless gloves and a combat-style hat on 9 July last year.
Sahyab is on trial at London’s Old Bailey alongside his brother, Muhamed Abu, 32, who allegedly knew he was planning an act of terrorism but failed to report it, Sky News reported.
John McGuinness QC, prosecuting, said Sahayb had bought items and clothing “of the type that someone carrying out a terrorist attack might use” and that he had been researching foreign embassies and commented online that police were only good for dying.
However, when he was arrested, he told officers he had bought the paramilitary equipment because he was a fan of drill rap artists and liked to parody their videos.
Detectives recovered recordings he had shared with his brother on 17 and 18 June last year in which he rapped: “Got my under armor on, cos I gotta stay strong/I’ll be sending you to iTunes, l’ll send you to the clouds, 10 shots in your chest.”
His older brother also recorded drill tracks, which he shared with Sahayb, including one in which he rapped: “Let’s get merky [murderous]/let’s get hurty/ I’ve got bombs that are just worthy.”
During the three months before his arrest, it is claimed that Sahayb Abu made 110 searches for Islamic State.
Last June, he also searched online for embassies including the US, Russian and Israeli embassies in London, jurors were told.
After being arrested he denied being a supporter of IS. Two of his brothers were reported missing or dead after traveling to Syria, probably in 2015, the court was told and Sahayb claimed his searches for IS videos online were because he was trying to find out what had happened.
He admitted buying the items but denied having any intention of carrying out a terrorist attack.
The brothers claimed they were not anti-British, but the court was told that on 13 October 2017, police officers attended Ilford High Road in east London, where the two defendants and an older brother called Ahmed Aweys were putting up posters.
The posters were said to show an image of a red memorial poppy with the center of the poppy displaying a skull with a British flag, and five black aircraft flying across the flower.
The words on the poster read: “Britain uses your tax money to kill Muslims in Muslim lands. British terror. Lest we forget. Don’t betray your Ummah [Muslim world nation]!”