UK pharmacist behind bars for showing ISIS beheading video to schoolchildren

A UK pharmacist is behind bars for trying to radicalize two elementary school-aged students and showing one of them a video of an American soldier being beheaded.

Zameer Ghumra was sentenced to six years in prison Friday for disseminating terrorist propaganda while trying to brainwash two young brothers into becoming Islamic State fighters.

The 38-year-old worked as a pharmacist in Northamptonshire, England and was trying to set up a madrasa, an Islamic school, when he taught the two boys how to survive a bomb attack and fight with knives, The Guardian reported.

“[Ghumra] had ISIS training videos and people being beheaded,” one of the boys reportedly told the court. “There was talking and then the American soldier was beheaded.”

He added: “It made me feel disgusting. He said, ‘If you truly love Allah, then you do it.’ I told him I get a horrid feeling when I see this.”

The boys’ ages were not revealed.

The boys' mother told the court that Ghumra told her son that kafirs, non-believers, “go to hell, even if they’re good people,” The Guardian reported.

“He said if you truly believe in God you do it for him. He said they would go to Turkey and make a run for it.”


Additionally, Ghumra followed various ISIS-linked social media accounts and had online conversations with Anjem Choudary, a jailed radical preacher. He reportedly told the two boys that Choudary was a good man.

“These were shocking crimes which damaged the children and caused offense to the vast majority of law-abiding Muslims,” said judge Gregory Dickinson QC, who added that Ghumra showed an “absence of remorse.”

Ghumra was arrested at Birmingham airport in September 2015. At his home, police seized a computer showing 1,600 search results for terms including “survival knives” and “bushcraft.”

A phone containing a video of the training nor the video itself were recovered, police said.

“Zameer Ghumra tried to brainwash impressionable children with this violent ideology by making one watch beheading videos and urging them both to adopt a hardline religious outlook,” Sue Hemming, of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

“The CPS case was that he intended to radicalize them in the hope that they would go on to be involved in terrorism. The children were brave to give evidence and we would like to thank them for helping to secure this conviction of a dangerous man.”