PhD student convicted of building deadly drone for ISIS

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A PhD student in England has been convicted of building a potentially deadly drone for the Islamic State terrorist group. Mohamad Al Bared, 26, was found guilty of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts to benefit a proscribed terrorist organization. He faces possible life in prison when he is sentenced next month.

Al Bared, a mechanical engineering graduate who was studying at Birmingham University, designed and built the drone using a 3D printer. He sent weekly updates to ISIS, and the terrorist group featured the drone in a propaganda video.

Al Bared was arrested in January 2023 after police found the drone at his home in Coventry. They also found an ISIS application form and other information indicating his support for the terrorist organization.

During Al Bared’s trial, the prosecution said he was inspired by Russian drone strikes in Ukraine and designed the drone to fly into a crowd or building to cause mass casualties. Prosecutors also said Al Bared had researched chemicals including sarin, ricin, and mustard gas, as well as looking for details on mechanical detonators and how to build an “explosive” head for the drone.

Al Bared denied being an ISIS supporter and claimed to have made the drone and studied ISIS materials for his own research purposes. He said he looked into ISIS to help him argue against the terror org at his mosque. The jury did not believe his defense.

The sources for this piece include an article in TheRegister.

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