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R v. Junead Khan

Court Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court, Great Britain (UK)
Case number T20167057
Decision title Jury Verdict
Decision date 1 April 2016
  • United Kingdom
  • Junead Ahmed Khan
Categories Terrorism
Keywords Attempted Travel, Foreign fighters, Islamic State, Preparatory Acts, Terrorism
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In April 2016, Mr. Junead Khan was convicted by a jury verdict of attempting to travel to join terrorist organisation ISIL in Syria and of plotting to attack US personnel on military bases in the UK. The evidence showed that Mr. Khan had obtained bomb making instructions, a manual on life in ISIL and that he was attempting to acquire a marine combat knife. He had also been in contact with a jihadi fighter in Syria who offered him the addresses of soldiers to attack. He was convicted with his uncle, Shazib Khan, and was sentenced in May 2016 to life imprisonment. 

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Procedural history

Mr. Khan was arrested with his uncle, Mr. Shazib Khan, on 14 July 2015.

He had previously been identified in a government anti-extremism programme but had rejected their assistance.

Mr. Khan’s trial was conducted alongside that of his younger uncle, Mr. Shazib Khan, and lasted for approximately six weeks. 

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Related developments

Mr. Khan was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 12 years, on 13 May 2016. At his sentencing, Mr. Justice Edis stated that “Junead Khan was not far from the commission of the murder to be committed by horrifying method in the street in order to create terror and terrorist propaganda in this country [sic]”. 

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Legally relevant facts

Mr. Khan, with his uncle Mr. Shazib Khan, had intended to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State in Levant (ISIL) at various points between August 2014 and their arrest in July 2015. To that end, Mr. Khan had a copy of ‘A brief guide to the Islamic State’, a currency exchange rate list for ISIL and he had compiled a list of clothing to take.

In addition, the evidence showed that Mr. Khan had been in contact with an ISIL fighter in Syria who said he could give him the addresses of British soldiers and assist with making a pipe bomb or a pressure cooker bomb. The contents of his phone revealed that he had received instructions on how to make a pressure cooker bomb and that he had been researching how to obtain a marine combat knife. Mr. Khan had also discussed staging a car crash and then attacking soldiers located near US military bases in the UK that he drove past on his delivery route.

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Core legal questions

  • Which conduct can be constitutive of preparatory terrorist acts under UK law?

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Specific legal rules and provisions

Section 5(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006 (UK)

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Court's holding and analysis

The defendant was found guilty of two counts of engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism in contravention of Section 5(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006 (UK) on 1 April 2016. The first count concerned Mr. Khan’s plans to travel to Syria with his uncle and he was convicted by a majority verdict. The second count concerned his plan to attack military personnel within the UK and he was unanimously convicted by the jury. 

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Further analysis

The Law Pages, ‘Junead Ahmed Khan’, The Law Pages, 2016.  

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Instruments cited

Terrorism Act 2006 (UK)

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Related cases

R v. Shazib Khan [T20167057], Jury Verdict.

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Additional materials