Update: Hotel owner who had ‘Mujahideen’ notebook in his wardrobe escapes jail
A hotel owner has been given a suspended prison sentence after he was found guilty of an offence under the Terrorism Act for making notes about Mujahideen training.
The handwritten notes titled Commander of Mujahideen were in a notebook discovered in a wardrobe in his bedroom during a police search of his home in Headfield Road, Savile Town, on November 5 2013.
Amjad who has run a hotel in Roundhay Road, Leeds for five years and a jeweller’s shop in Dewsbury for 17 years, had denied the offence, claiming he made the notes, which included physical exercises because he was trying to lose weight.
Amjad was found guilty of the offence after a trial last month and appeared before Leeds Crown Court for sentencing.
The court heard for the first time today how officers also discovered material from extremist preachers, including those convicted of terrorism offences, when they searched Amjad’s premises but the material could not be linked to him.
Prosecutor Brett Weaver said material included a document entitled ‘44 Ways to Commit Jihad’. There were also video files of preacher Anjem Choudray and an audio file of Briton Ken Bigley being beheaded in 2004.
The discovery was made in November 5, 2013, when police visited Amjad’s home “for an entirely unrelated and irrelevant matter”.
But during a search of the property the notebook containing the handwritten notes was found in a wardrobe in his bedroom along with other documents inside clear plastic envelopes.
The notebook page headed Commander of Mujahideen listed in the top half of the page, the qualities of such a commander including being “ruthless like a bear and attacking like a wolf”.
On the lower half of the page it gave the exercise regime, such as carrying 20 kilogrammes for four hours and run three kilometres in no more than 13.5 minutes.
Mr Weaver described the offending as being at a low level.
Paul Crampin, mitigating, said the material had been in his wardrobe for five years and he had forgotten about them until they were discovered by police.
The barrister said Amjad was a hard-working, devoted, family man with three children. He added: “Mr Amjad is someone not just without previous convictions but of positive good character. He is not someone without a social conscience.”
Mr Crampin said Amjad had previously been involved in arranging humanitarian aid for displaced people in Syria, including organising a convoy of 20 lorries.
Amjad was given a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to do 240 hours unpaid work and take part in a 30-day activity programme designed to address his offending.