Two young defendants in UK confess to acts of terrorism

November 14, 2023


In a joint investigation led by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, supported by Counter Terrorism Policing North East, two individuals, Al-Arfat Hassan, 20, from north London, and an unnamed 17-year-old from Leeds, have admitted to terrorism offenses. The duo, who connected online, shared extremist views and supported Daesh. Al-Arfat Hassan pleaded guilty to possession of chemicals for terrorism purposes, while the 17-year-old admitted collecting information for terrorism and having information about acts of terrorism. They are set to be sentenced on February 2, 2024, at a court to be confirmed. The investigation unfolded after Hassan was stopped at Heathrow Airport in February 2022, leading to the discovery of evidence of his extremist mindset and the purchase of chemicals for an explosive device. 

Source: Metropolitan Police 


The investigation reveals a disturbing trend of young individuals, including those still in school, becoming involved in terrorism. Al-Arfat Hassan, known for making rap videos, was in contact with the 17-year-old co-defendant, and their online radicalization mirrors a growing issue where young people are influenced by extremist material on the internet. The Counter Terrorism Command, along with North East counterparts, undertook a challenging and complex operation, emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts among regional counter-terrorism units to ensure public safety. The suspects’ connection to Daesh and the discovery of propaganda materials further highlight the pervasive influence of online radicalization. 

Background: The Counter Terrorism Command and Counter Terrorism Policing North East, having dealt with a surge in young individuals involved in terrorism, stress the urgency for public cooperation in reporting potential threats, underscoring the role of online platforms in the radicalization process. 

Source: Metropolitan Police 


The challenge faced by officials in solving such cases revolves around the increasing number of young people being radicalized online. The accessibility of extremist material, coupled with the use of encryption and online platforms, poses a significant hurdle for investigators. How can authorities effectively monitor and intervene in online spaces without compromising individual privacy? Additionally, the rapid evolution of online communication methods and the anonymity afforded by the internet make it challenging to track and prevent such radicalization. How can law enforcement keep pace with the constantly changing landscape of online extremism and swiftly identify potential threats before they materialize into acts of terrorism? 

Statistics: According to counter-terrorism statistics, there has been a notable rise in cases involving young individuals radicalized online, necessitating adaptive strategies for law enforcement to address this emerging trend. 

Source: Counter Terrorism Policing UK 

WHY iCognative? 

Given the escalating challenge of online radicalization and the difficulty in obtaining actionable intelligence through traditional means, Brainwave Science (BWS) introduces iCognative™ as a revolutionary solution. In the case of Al-Arfat Hassan and the 17-year-old, iCognative™ could swiftly and accurately identify their knowledge of terrorism-related activities through the non-invasive technology. This technology offers a torture-free, accurate, and quick alternative to traditional interrogation methods. By using iCognative, suspects would undergo a test where the presence or absence of terrorism-related information is determined by analyzing their brainwave responses. 

Example: In this specific case, iCognative™ could be instrumental in verifying the extent of the suspects’ knowledge, potentially accelerating the investigation process. Merely in 8 minutes, it can expose the true extent of individuals’ knowledge regarding terrorism-related activities. For instance, in case of Al-Arfat Hassan and the 17-year-old involved in terrorism offenses, investigators could input statements such as “I intend to make an explosive,” “I used an online platform to radicalization,” and “I am affiliated to Daesh” as stimuli and conduct test to identify their hidden planning.  Investigators can use other  confidential information also as stimuli that they want to identify in similar fashion.  

During the iCognative ConcealedFinder test, investigators would analyze in real-time through brainwave responses to each statement and uncovering crucial information even if the suspects deny involvement. This technology provides a non-invasive and efficient method to ascertain the depth of their knowledge, potentially accelerating the investigation process. By incorporating iCognative in counter-terrorism strategies, law enforcement agencies can enhance their ability to identify and apprehend individuals involved in terrorism, ensuring a more effective and precise approach to national security.  

This approach ensures the quick identification of involved individuals while minimizing the risk of false accusations. 

Source: Brainwave Science