- Mohamed Al Bared, 27, of Kare Road, Coventry, will serve a minimum sentence of 20 years
An engineering graduate student who built a “kamikaze” drone in the hope it would deliver chemical weapons to Isis was sentenced to life in prison today.
Mohamed Al Bared, 27, used a 3D printer in his bedroom to put together a prototype unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The terror group was so impressed by the student’s work that it released one of his videos in a propaganda film on the encrypted messaging app Telegram.
Today a judge at Birmingham Crown Court sentenced Al Bared, of Kare Road, Coventry, to life imprisonment and gave him a minimum term of 20 years behind bars.
He was found guilty in September after jThe urors deliberated for about six hours over two days before unanimously condemning Al Bared.
The mechanical and chemical engineering graduate was found guilty of a single count of participating in the preparation of terrorist acts for the benefit of a proscribed terrorist organization.
Mohamed Al Bared, 27, of Kare Road, Coventry, built a prototype of the unmanned aerial vehicle in his bedroom. A judge at Birmingham Crown Court said the drone’s design was “suspicious at best and fundamentally flawed at worst”.
In today’s sentencing, Judge Paul Farrer KC said Al Bared, who previously studied at Coventry University and the University of Warwick, had decided to support ISIS’s “terrorist agenda”.
Doctoral student Al Bared, who also studied at the University of Birmingham and specialized in laser drilling, contacted IS via an online messaging service and began building a drone in July 2022.
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Judge Farrer said: “I have no doubt that your design was intended to be a disposable weapon with a range of up to five kilometers.”
“Their preparations were made with multiple lives in mind.”
The judge found that the drone’s design was “at best suspect and at worst fundamentally flawed,” adding: “This was a work in progress.”
“You are a manipulative person. You are a committed extremist. I have no doubt that you are still a supporter of the Islamic State today.
“It is impossible to say whether you will ever give up your extremist views.” You are a dangerous perpetrator from whom the public needs protection.
“The seriousness of the offense warrants a life sentence.”
The UAV and a cellphone were seized when Al Bared was arrested in January this year. Encrypted online chats and other digital material were discovered that revealed his support for ISIS.
The court heard he intended to build a video-transmitting fixed-wing drone for terrorist purposes and travel to West Africa via Turkey.
Al Bared used a 3D printer (pictured) in his bedroom to put together a prototype of the unmanned aerial vehicle
Al Bared had filled out an IS application form and set up a UK-registered company that would supposedly import Turkish food to help plan future trips abroad, his trial said.
The jury was also presented with written material stating that the idea for the drone was “somewhat inspired by the design of the Tomahawk missile,” with Al Bared describing his building process, according to the Crown.
Before sentencing, Al Bared’s lawyer Alistair Webster KC unsuccessfully applied for the trial to be adjourned for further consideration of psychiatric reports.
“He is not a fit person to be in prison,” Mr Webster said. “He’s extremely excited about how things turned out.”
“He finds the behavior of some of the other prisoners extremely challenging.”
After the case, Nick Price, head of the CPS special crime and counter-terrorism unit, said: “Mohamad Al Bared built a drone with the sole purpose of providing ISIS with the means to cause terror and destruction.”
“This sentence means an extremely dangerous person has been taken off the streets.”
“The CPS will always work with the police to prosecute those who carry out such terrorist activities to keep communities safe.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Payne, head of West Midlands counter-terrorism policing, said: “Al-Bared was a calculated individual and coupled with his training and expertise in mechanical and chemical engineering, he was clearly very dangerous.”
“He has developed a specially designed drone capable of carrying explosives or chemicals and using them as a weapon in a war zone. Fortunately, he was unable to continue his efforts following his swift arrest earlier this year.”
The terror group was so impressed by the student’s work that it released one of his videos in a propaganda film on the encrypted messaging app Telegram
“The jury heard how security-conscious he went to great lengths to conceal anything that could lead to his identification.”
“Today’s verdict means a dangerous person has been taken off our streets. There is no place in our society for people who want to take part in terrorist activities.”
“We will continue to work with partners and the CPS to protect our communities by tracking and prosecuting such individuals.”
“We are working tirelessly to combat terrorism.” “Our absolute priority is to ensure the safety of people living, working and visiting the West Midlands region.”