Brothers accused over ‘acts of terrorism’ argue ‘like Noel and Liam Gallagher’

An alleged jihadi and his older brother accused over preparation of terrorist acts would argue like Noel and Liam Gallagher, a court heard.

Aspiring musician Sahayb Abu, 27, bought an 18-inch sword, a Qama knife and body armour before he was arrested last July.

Prosecutors claim he purchased the weapons while planning a terror strike in the first national lockdown but he insists they were ‘props’ for his rap videos.

His brother Muhamed Abu, 32, is accused of failing to tell authorities what he knew of the alleged plan.

On Friday, the Old Bailey heard how Muhamed Abu blamed his jobless sibling’s “bullsh**” for landing him in court.

Muhamed Abu, who is said to suffer from autism, had been “proud” to be involved in organising an anti-knife crime conference, the court heard.

But he would also complain that everyone thought he was a “bum” and blamed his younger sibling for “the situation he finds himself in,” jurors heard.

Cross-examining Sahayb Abu, Muhamed’s lawyer Naz Hussain QC said: “He would complain he was being seen as a waster.

“The truth is, at times he was seen as a bit of a joke.”

Sahayb Abu replied: “Very much so, yes.”

Muhamed Abu had likened their relationship to the Oasis brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher, jurors heard.

The younger sibling was the one who would “talk big,” branded a “dreamer” and “fantasist” by Muhamed, the older brother’s lawyer said.

Mr Hussain suggested: “You probably get on far less than you argue.”

Sahayb Abu said: “There is a lot of arguments, yes.”

Mr Hussain went on: “He would call you out for being a bullshi**er and that would annoy you.

“Muhamed Abu would say you were a dreamer, a fantasist, that’s right? You would talk big all the time but never actually do anything?”

Sahayb Abu insisted his business ideas including a Dragons’ Den concept for a healthy drinks business were “real”.

But Mr Hussain suggested it was “all a game” for the defendant, who called himself Billy the Kid and the Masked Menace.

Sahayb Abu, who has spoken of his ambition to become a famous rapper, responded: “I wanted to do things with my life.”

Mr Hussain said: “We are not saying you were planning an attack, or even if you were, you discussed nothing like that with Muhamed Abu.

“Since the arrests, Muhamed Abu has blamed you for the situation he finds himself in.

“He has been very upset with you. He blames you and your bullsh** for him being on trial.”

Sahayb Abu replied: “Yes.”

Questioned by the prosecution, Sahayb Abu conceded that fighters for so-called Islamic State (IS) wore balaclavas similar to those he posed in on camera.

Sahayb Abu appeared in a homemade video wearing one of the head pieces and saying: “They do the job.”

The defendant claimed his “parody” rap persona called the Masked Menace was just “clowning”.

John McGuinness QC said: “You never mentioned the Masked Menace, did you, in your interviews? Is that because he doesn’t exist?”

Sahayb Abu replied: “Certain things did not come up but the Masked Menace is real. It’s something I wanted to do.”

Earlier, the defendant told jurors he made “plenty” of online searches for IS, but only for information about two half-brothers who were believed to have died in Syria.

Jurors have heard he discussed guns with an undercover police officer who he met through an IS supporters’ Telegram chat group.

Sahayb Abu said he felt “duped and tricked” by the officer, whom he met face to face twice.

He “opened his heart” to the operative, thinking they were friends, and sent him a picture of his two half-brothers who died after travelling to Syria, the court heard.

The officer, known as Rachid, recognised the pair – named as Wail and Sulemain Aweys – in the image from another operation three months earlier, jurors have heard.

Asked by his lawyer Michael Ivers QC if he had been “recruited to the cause”, he said: “You have to be naive and people who have nothing to live for get recruited. They cannot do that to me.

“I have a future. Whatever spell has worked on anybody else, the spell does not work on me.”

Sahayb Abu, of Dagenham in Essex, has denied preparation of terrorist acts.

Muhamed Abu, from Norwood, south London, has pleaded not guilty to failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism.