Rapping jihadi who planned lockdown sword attack jailed for life

13 April 2021, 12:46 | Updated: 13 April 2021, 13:37

By Kate Buck

A rapping jihadi dubbed the Masked Menace has been jailed for at least 19 years for plotting a terror attack during the coronavirus lockdown.

Sahayb Abu, 27, bought an 18-inch sword, a knife, balaclavas and body armour online as he prepared to strike last summer.

He was arrested on July 9 after discussing guns with an undercover police officer, who he met on a Telegram chat group for supporters of the so-called Islamic State (IS) group.

Abu claimed he wanted to become a successful rapper like Stormzy.

A jury deliberated for 21 hours and 32 minutes to find him guilty of preparing for terrorist acts by a majority of 11 to one.

His brother, Muhamed Abu, 32, wept as he was cleared of failing to disclose information about a plot to authorities.

He appeared distressed at his sibling's conviction, sobbing: "He's a clown, he's a buffoon.

Sahayb Abu, 27, bought an 18-inch sword, a knife, balaclavas and body armour online as he prepared to strike last summer.
Sahayb Abu, 27, bought an 18-inch sword, a knife, balaclavas and body armour online as he prepared to strike last summer. Picture: PA

On Tuesday, Sahayb Abu, of Dagenham, east London, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 19 years at the Old Bailey.

The court heard how some of the defendants' relatives had been linked to extremism in the past.

Mr Smith declined to speculate on whether the Abu brothers were radicalised within the family, online or in jail, but said: "Nobody is born with hatred and intolerance within them.

"The court heard how the defendants' half-brothers Wail and Suleyman Aweys went to Syria in 2015, where they are both believed to have died.

Two years later, the defendants were caught with their older half-brother Ahmed Aweys putting up poppy posters in east London saying British tax was used to "kill Muslims".

He was arrested on July 9 after discussing guns with an undercover police officer
He was arrested on July 9 after discussing guns with an undercover police officer. Picture: PA

Sahayb Abu went on to associate with known terrorists while serving a sentence for burglary at Wandsworth prison in south London.

Among them was IS supporter Husnain Rashid, who was jailed for at least 25 years in 2018 for calling for an attack on Prince George.

Sahayb Abu was released from prison on March 20 last year, and went from being "locked up to locked down" as the Covid-19 pandemic struck, jurors heard.

More to follow...