gavelA teenager has been jailed for 8 years for attempting to groom a man with learning disabilities into committing acts of terror, including killing soldiers.

Kazi Islam, aged 19 and from East London, had tried to encourage fellow teen Harry Thomas, who has Asperger’s syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, to attack soldiers and buy the ingredients for a pipe bomb. Islam was convicted of preparing to commit acts of terrorism on 29 April.

The court was told that Islam had been inspired by the killing of Fusilier Lee Rigby in May 2013, and befriended Thomas in the October of that year having met him in 2012 on an IT course.

In the months that followed, Islam tried to radicalise Thomas – who he also encouraged to call himself Haroon – by telling him stories of innocent children being killed by military forces.

In his defence, Islam said he had spoken to Thomas about buying the ingredients for a bomb, but that it was just an “experiment” in radicalisation.

However, Thomas had unwittingly sabotaged Islam’s plan by not buying the right ingredients and mentioning to other friends what was going on.

Following this, a police raid on the house where Islam lived with his family found incriminating exchanges between the pair on BlackBerry Messenger and social media sites, including references to buying ingredients to make bombs. Islam had also downloaded material on explosives. 

In sentencing Islam, Judge Richard Marks told him that he had shown neither remorse nor insight into the seriousness of what he had done, and his conduct towards Thomas was an aggravating factor.

"Even on your own account, that you knew he was an extremely vulnerable young man, your treatment of him was as callous as it was manipulative," he said.