A CYBER-jihadi who stored secret terror plans on James Bond-style USB sticks disguised as cufflinks has admitted being an ISIS terrorist.
Computer technician Samata Ullah, 34, used the secure messaging app Telegram to offer his services to the Cyber Caliphate Army, a group of fanatics said to specialise in “hacking and writing death writs”.
Police who raided his Cardiff home last September found a “large number” of media devices including 30 tiny USB drives hidden inside metal cufflinks of the sort that might be made by fictional MI6 boffin Q.
One was loaded with a “wish list of skills” needed by ISIS along with the back catalogue of the terror group’s propaganda magazine Dabiq.
Officers also found books about guided missiles.
Ullah pleaded guilty to five terrorism offences earlier this month at the Old Bailey, which can be reported today after prosecutors decided not to pursue a further charge.
The high-tech terrorist admitted membership of ISIS and uploading instructional videos to train terrorists to use sophisticated encryption techniques.
He also confessed to possessing terrorist material and preparing for terrorist acts by developing a version of his Ansar al Khilafah blog using the encryption programme ZeroNet.
A further charge of directing terrorism for ISIS by hacking its enemies’ military information was left to lie on file.
Ullah, who has been diagnosed with autism, faces a lengthy jail term when he is sentenced on a date to be fixed.
At an earlier court hearing, prosecutor David Cawthorne said Ullah had contacted the Cyber Caliphate Army so he could “provide his skills and knowledge to the Caliphate”.
He said: “Mr Ullah’s primary criminality is over the internet and in his communications with others globally including those connected with Daesh or IS.
“He was either solely or primarily responsible for a blog site called Ansar al Khilafah WordPress. It was really solely an IS or Daesh site.”
The blog’s “security tips” section had videos that “effectively were a step-by-step guide on how to conduct yourself securely”.
Ullah also filmed cyber-security instructional videos covering his face and using voice-modulation software to hide his Welsh accent.
One made reference to Al-Qaeda’s notorious bomb-making guide Make A Bomb In The Kitchen Of Your Mom.
The films recommended the Linux operating system Tails, and other programmes that make encrypted internet use easier such as VeraCrypt and OpenLuff.
He also used Zeronet to make a secret version of his blog on a peer-to-peer network that can’t be infiltrated by authorities.
Police gathered more than 6.1 terabytes of data from Ullah’s Samsung computer and other devices.
He had bought 50 pairs of USB cufflinks from a Chinese auction site but only about 30 remained at his house — including one loaded with the operating system Linux Mint.
He is also said to have contacted alleged ISIS fighter Abu Fidaa, who is awaiting trial for terrorism offences in Kenya.
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