Terrorist who shared beheading videos and car bomb guide to be freed from jail

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A terrorist who posted beheading videos on WhatsApp and footage which gave tips on how to make a car bomb is set to be freed from jail.

The Parole Board has decided Mohammed Khilji, who was sentenced to five years in 2018, is suitable for release.

The then 19-year-old, from north-west London, initially came to the attention of police after he digitally altered footage of a wargame video to make it appear that the featured soldiers were so-called Islamic State fighters, and posted the clip on YouTube.

According to Counter Terrorism Policing, officers also found videos on his phone and computer, including one which featured footage of the Westminster terrorist attack in 2017, and concluded by offering advice on preparing a vehicle-borne bomb.

The Parole Board said: “After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was satisfied that Mr Khilji was suitable for release.”

According to a document setting out the decision, at the time of his crimes Khilji had a “fascination by acts of religious extremism”, an “interest in warfare and violence”, used drugs, felt “an aggrieved sense of injustice” and spent more time online because of “social isolation”.

While behind bars he has taken part in programmes to tackle his behaviour including “an intervention addressing the underlying causes of extremist offending and ways of disengaging” as well as courses to address his drug taking, which continued for a time in custody.

Now 23, he is described as having a “willingness to bring about change to his life, a wish to explore his religion with the support of professionals” and a “positive work ethic, leading to an increased level of self-esteem”.

The parole papers said: “Although there had been concerns about Mr Khilji’s behaviour, the panel was told that this had improved and that he had been working well with professionals.”

Witnesses, including his probation officer, prison staff and a psychologist, recommended his release and “this was supported by the Secretary of State’s representative”.

He will face restrictions on his movements, where he lives and who he contacts as well as 23 additional licence conditions which mean he will be subject to an “extensive level of monitoring” including lie-detector tests.

He will have a curfew and have to wear an electronic tag.

Parole Board judges concluded the plan was “robust enough” for him to be freed from jail.

If Khilji had been denied release, he would have still walked free at the end of his sentence in September.

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