20-year-old drill rapper Official TS, real name Al-Arfat Hassan, has pleaded guilty to the possession of chemicals for terrorism purposes.
Hassan was stopped at Heathrow Airport on February 27, where police seized two iPhones - the BBC reports. According to reports, Hassan bought chemicals used to make explosives, two knives, and a sword.
The rapper, from Enfield in North London, posed with the weapons in a video where he spoke about looking good “for his final moments”, the BBC reports.
After he was caught by police at Heathrow, where he was purported to board a flight to Bangladesh with his father and uncle, Hassan then allegedly returned home to “dispose of the chemicals and most of the weapons”.
The Counter-Terrorism Policing National Digital Exploitation Service (NDES) found a “wealth of incriminating material” on Hassan’s phones after he was caught, detectives said.
Videos included an IS video demonstrating how to kill someone with a knife on a real victim, and another showing how to make a bomb from chemical materials, of which Hassan had purchased.
A trial began at Leeds Crown Court last year, where a court also heard an unreleased rap from Hassan titled ‘The London Verse’, where he can be heard listing Western victims of IS beheadings and a line about a “central London explosion”.
Also found on Hassan’s devices were images of him posing with weapons and thousands of messages between himself and a young fan, a 17-year-old boy from Leeds, where the two exchanged messages in codewords including “cupcakes” for explosives” and “marketplace” for the attack.
The pair were said to have bonded over their “extremist beliefs”, while the teenager, who was 15 when the pair first met, posed for images of himself with a hunting knife in front of an IS flag. He was also said to have messaged family members: “I just want martyrdom as soon as possible.”
The BBC reports that Official TS began as a drill project from Hassan where he rapped about violent street life, but recently shifted to religiously-inspired violence and Islamic State (IS) group ideology.
Hassan pleaded guilty to the possession of chemicals for terrorist purposes at the Old Bailey on Friday. The jury originally debated whether Hassan was guilty of preparing a terrorist act, but a second trial was established after suggestions that jurors were falling asleep. Hassan will be sentenced on February 2.
[Via the BBC]
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter