A delivery driver who harboured “chilling fantasies” about killing members of Tottenham’s Jewish community and attacking White Hart Lane, has jailed for attempting to join Islamic State.
Somalian Aweys Shikhey, 38, dreamed of travelling to take part in violent jihad after moving to Tottenham, north London.
He talked about killing former prime minister David Cameron and the “old woman Elizabeth”, as well as shooting Jewish people and launching an AK47 attack at White Hart Lane, then-home to Tottenham Hotspur football club.
He kept up a veneer of hard-working respectability, sending money to his families abroad while applying for loans to bankroll his trip to IS territory. But in an online chat, he fell in love with a jihadi bride in Norway and discussed committing atrocities in the UK with a fellow Somali living in Kenya.
He was found guilty of preparing terrorist acts on or before May 23 last year following a trial at the Old Bailey in February, and Judge Martin Edmunds QC jailed him for eight years with a further four years on extended licence.
He told the defendant: “In travelling you were abandoning your two families, one in Holland and one in Kenya, behind. “On the surface you appeared to be a hard-working man, regularly sending money to your families. But under the surface you were increasingly radicalised.
“During your conversations with Abdirahman Hassan in Kenya you had discussions about the murder of David Cameron and Her Majesty the Queen and about committing atrocities against football fans and members of the Jewish community in the Tottenham area.
“These conversations although chilling, dangerous and testament to your increasing radicalisation were in my judgment more in the nature of fantasy than conspiracy.
“I am not sentencing you, indeed cannot sentence you, on this charge, for threatened acts of terrorism in this country.”
He added: “Given the scope of your ambition, including your fantasies about the commission of very grave terrorist acts in the UK, and your hatred for those who do not share your views, I have no hesitation in finding you to be dangerous within the meaning of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.”
The court had heard how the IS fan tried to raise money for his trip by applying for various loans, securing £10,000 from Barclays for a “wedding”, jurors were told.
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Shikhey was arrested at Stansted airport in May last year before boarding a flight to Istanbul, with an onward route planned into IS-held territory. His terrorist mindset was revealed in encrypted chat with fellow Somali Hassan on Threema and Telegram.
Hassan’s computer had been examined after he was arrested for alleged terrorism offences in September 2016.
Shikhey told Hassan three or five people were needed to “carry out a bloody attack” and it would be best to find AK47s and other automatic weapons.
In reference to White Hart Lane, home to Tottenham Hotspur football club, he added: “They could have been taken to Stamford Hill and when people leave from their game.”