An ISIS fanatic who travelled hundreds of miles across Britain to plant toxic terror material in the shoes of worshippers at mosques has been jailed.
Omar Ashfaq, 24, was caught leaving memory sticks containing ISIS murders and terror attack manuals inside the footwear of people praying during Ramadan last year.
He had planned to target worshippers in hundreds of mosques until a nine-year-old boy praying with his father foiled his plans.
The boy discovered one of the devices and alerted officials who checked the mosque’s cctv footage and caught him.
It was then found that he had done the same in a number of other mosques across Britain.
When police raided his home in Derby they discovered bags of devices labelled with the names of British cities on them and plans to target 250 mosques.
Detective Inspector Donna Sisson, head of Derbyshire Special Branch, said: “Had we not arrested Omar Ashfaq when we did I fully believe he would have continued with his ‘operation’ to plant up to 250 digital devices at sites up and down the country.
“The USB sticks he managed to deposit contained footage of unspeakable brutality and promoted an extreme ideology that has absolutely no place in our communities. In some cases these USB sticks were found by children. A small consolation is that they never got see the horrors contained on them.
“I’d like to extend my thanks to those conscientious and diligent members of our communities — who are entitled to practise their faith in peace and without incident such as this — for calling the police. Your actions stopped a man, intent on spreading harmful messages, in his tracks.”
Ashfaq pleaded guilty to three charges of possession of a document containing information useful to terrorism and was jailed for four and a half years at Birmingham Crown Court.
He had usd his father’s car without his permission to travel hundreds of miles to the different venues.
The memory sticks were found to contain talks and lectures by Anwar Al Awlaki, an extremist preacher killed in a US drone strike in 2011, extremist videos and details on how to commit terror attacks and make bombs.