LONDON (BNO NEWS) -- A teenager from London was sentenced to more than one year in jail on Friday for possessing copies of al-Qaeda's English-language online magazine, which provides commentary as well as information on how to carry out terrorist attacks, police said.
Mohammed Abu Hasnath, 19, was arrested in October 2011 as he was cycling along East India Dock Road near his house in east London. At the time of his arrest, detectives searched a backpack he was carrying in which they found a USB stick containing several copies of Inspire, al-Qaeda's English-language online magazine.
Inspire was launched by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in July 2010 to attract aspiring jihadis who cannot read Arabic, and it has frequently been found in the possession of terrorism suspects. It offers instructions on bomb-making, weapons training, security measures as well as encryption lessons for beginners. It also offers extremist heavyweight Qur'anic commentary and rudimentary propaganda.
"This is a serious terrorist offence and we hope this will send a clear message that anyone caught in possession of such material can expect to be bought before the courts," said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Osborne who is the senior national coordinator counter-terrorism.
Hasnath was sentenced to 14 months on Friday but officials did not say why Hasnath was in possession of the documents and if he had any plans to carry out a terrorist attack. "We do not have that information," a Scotland Yard spokesman said, giving no other details when asked about the motive.
Britain has made any possession of Inspire illegal, and several people have been arrested and jailed in recent years in connection with the publication. "The magazines provide practical guidance on how to commit acts of terrorism, which brings them within the ambit of section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000," a Scotland Yard spokesperson said.
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