Halifax teenager jailed after admitting terrorism offences

A teenager from Halifax has been jailed for 18 months after she pleaded guilty to four offences under section two of the Terrorism Act

Ammber Haroon Rafiq of Elmfield Terrace pleaded guilty to four offences of Disseminating Terrorist Publications, contrary to Section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006 at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday (Monday)

Rafiq, 19, was arrested on April 20 this year following an intelligence led investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East, supported by West Yorkshire Police.

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She was charged a week later and remanded into custody.

Sheffield Crown Court

In March 2017 police were alerted to suspicious communications made by the 19-year-old.

She had sent a number of links to terrorist publications over the chat service Paltalk in both group chat and in 1-1 chats.

During the course of the investigation, specialist officers examined over 48,000 messages and identified the publications Rafiq had sent.

Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East said, “Ammber Rafiq is a young woman who had a promising future ahead of her. Instead she has shared the propaganda of Daesh, who are also known as ISIL, the Islamic State and ISIS, which could then radicalise others.

Sheffield Crown Court

“Daesh and other groups seek to use the internet to provoke individuals to carry out attacks in the UK. Tackling extremist material is important to protect the public and prevent offences that incite or encourage acts of terrorism.

“Counter Terrorism Policing in the North East and across the UK is committed to pursuing those who promote terrorist propaganda in order that they are brought before the courts. The safety of our communities is paramount.

“Due to the seriousness of her offences, Ammber Rafiq was remanded in custody following her arrest. Had we been able to intervene earlier we may have been able to prevent these crimes from being committed in the first place and we appeal to the public to share any concerns they have as soon as possible.

“Our response will be appropriate and proportionate – Prevent is about supporting people, and protecting them from the risk of harm to themselves, their families and to others.

“Should you have any concerns about a friend or relative please reach out to us for advice and guidance. This can be done in confidence by contacting police on 0800 789 321.

“Anyone who sees extremist content online is urged to report their concerns. This can be done anonymously online via this link available at www.gov.uk/act #ActionCountersTerrorism.”