A woman who said she wanted to marry “Jihadi John” has been jailed for four years and six months for sharing so-called Islamic State propaganda.
Zafreen Khadam, 32, was found guilty of 10 counts of disseminating terrorist publications after a trial at Sheffield Crown Court. She shared links to execution videos and terrorist magazines online under usernames such as ‘PrincessKuffar’.
Prosecutors said Khadam, of Vincent Road, Sheffield, had “glorified” IS. Barrister Simon Davis told jurors Khadam at one stage described Kuwaiti-born Mohammed Emwazi – nicknamed “Jihadi John” – as “kind of scary” but said she “would marry him”.
He told the court she set up 14 Twitter accounts and used Whatsapp to share videos, including one showing the beheading of Kurdish fighters and another of a Jordanian pilot being burnt alive.
She also shared links to seven issues of “terrorist publication” Dabiq and a speech entitled ‘What is Terrorism?’.
Mr Davis said: “The prosecution case is that this defendant was disseminating terrorist information or propaganda, or spreading the word. “Our case is that her intention was to encourage people to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terror.”
Kahdam, who worked as a make-up artist, told the court she had become interested in IS after reading an article about a footballer who had gone to join the group. She told the court: “It was always about understanding them. I never supported them in my heart. It was an act.”
Det Ch Sup Clive Wain, Head of the North East Counter Terrorism Unit, said it was clear Khadam “openly demonstrated support for Daesh and their ideology”. He said that during the investigation police reviewed hundreds of hours of videos and about 20,000 social media postings. He said that officers were concerned that had she not been arrested she may have attempted to travel to Syria. He said: “Khadam has not disputed posting the information, claiming she did so out of curiosity and the belief that she did not consider it to be terrorist material. “Yet this material glorified terrorism and delivered powerful messages, encouraging terrorist acts and calling upon others to kill.”