Grenfell volunteer jailed for claiming victims were 'Jewish sacrifice'

Grenfell volunteer jailed for claiming victims were 'Jewish sacrifice'

February 12, 2022

Anti-Semitic Muslim who claimed Grenfell Tower victims were ‘burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice’ is jailed for 11 months for stirring up racial hatred

  • Tahra Ahmed, 51, posted antisemitic conspiracy theories on social media 
  • She was found guilty of two counts of stirring up racial hatred at the Old Bailey
  • Ahmed wrote a post claiming Jews ‘have always been behind ritual torture’
  • She volunteered  to help survivors and grieving families in the days aftet the blaze 

A racist Grenfell volunteer who claimed the 72 tower fire victims were ‘burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice’ has been jailed for 11 months. 

Tahra Ahmed, 51, posted ‘virulently’ antisemitic conspiracy theories on social media days after the fire in west London.

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, she was found guilty of two counts of stirring up racial hatred by publishing written material.

On Friday Ahmed, who had volnteered to help survivors of tghe fire and grieving families in the days after the blaze, was jailed for 11 months.

Previously, prosecutor Hugh French told jurors that an examination of her account revealed two posts in January and June 2017 that ‘crossed the line as to what is acceptable in a liberal society’.

On June 18, 2017 — four days after the Grenfell Tower fire — Muslim Ahmed posted a video on Facebook of the blaze and referred to it being a ‘Jewish sacrifice’, the Old Bailey heard.

Tahra Ahmed, 51, posted ‘virulently’ antisemitic conspiracy theories on social media, with one sent just days after the fire in West London that claimed the lives of 72 people

She stated: ‘I’ve been at the scene, at the protest and at the community meetings and have met many of the victims… some who were still in the same clothes they escaped in.

‘They are very real and genuine, their pain and suffering is raw and deep and their disgusting neglect by authorities continues.

‘Watch the footage of people trapped in the inferno with flames behind them. They were burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice.’

The post went on to link Grenfell to an antisemitic conspiracy around the Twin Towers destruction in New York.

An earlier post, on January 26 2017, also set out an antisemitic conspiracy theory, jurors heard. 

It said: ‘Jews have always been the ones behind ritual torture, crucifixion and murder of children, especially young boys, as a way of atoning for their sins in order to be allowed back into Palestine.

‘Here is a very brief history of these crimes they committed in Britain over the centuries.’

The devastating Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 killed 72 people when flames spread through the 24-storey tower via combustible cladding 

The post contains a link to an article called Jewish Settlement, Ritual Murder by Geoffrey H Smith.

Prosecutor Hugh French said the posts Ahmed published were ‘virulently anti-Semitic and significantly crossed the line as to what is acceptable in a liberal democracy’.

He said: ‘Looking at the language of the posts, the crude racial stereotyping and the insulting tone, the Crown say that you can infer that she posted them intending to stir up racial hatred and that racial hatred was likely to be stirred up.’

Detective sergeant Ross Burrell said police conducted an ‘open source review’ of Ahmed’s Facebook in November 2018 which gave them access to her account’s activity.

The officer read aloud posts and comments, attributed to Ahmed’s Facebook account, broadly agreeing that the 9/11 disaster was a Jewish ‘ruse’.

One post said: ‘9/11 was not an inside job. It was a Mossad job and the dirty, lying and devious… blamed it on the Muslims.

‘They subject their evil on me and my people and when we criticise and point out facts, they cry antisemitism.’

Ahmed, who ran workshops for those affected by the Grenfell tragedy, appeared at the Old Bailey

Another post read: ‘Hate speech is so blatantly just a ruse to cover up the exposure of their crimes. Just like 9/11 was a ruse to get into illegal invasions…of the Arab nations.’

Judge Mark Dennis said that the author of a pre-sentence report found that Ahmed continued to ‘minimise and justify her offending’.

He told Ahmed: ‘The stirring up of racial hatred against any person or group of persons in a civilised and democratic society is an abhorrent act and there is a need to protect everyone in our society against such discrimination and division and to deter such offending.

‘You are an educated, widely-read and articulate individual but also a person who expresses views about a range of matters in a passionate and apparently committed way which can influence and attract others as was apparent when listening to various character witnesses called on your behalf during the trial.

‘When your views are born out of racial hatred towards others in society then your words can serve only to distort the thinking of others and to stir up hatred where none existed before or else entrench or worsen views already held by those who shared with you such a dreadful mindset.

Tahra Ahmed (pictured), 51, from Tottenham, London, who ran a volunteer network for Grenfell Tower survivors, has been jailed with stirring up racial hatred on Facebook

‘I have no doubt that when you wrote and published your assertions with regard to the Grenfell Tower tragedy you knew full well what you were doing and that by posting such venom you intended to stir up hatred towards Jews in general.

‘Having listened with care to the evidence you gave over several days on the trial, and the manner in which you gave such evidence, I have no reason to conclude that you have any true or genuine remorse of your offending conduct.’

Ahmed appeared shocked when she heard she was going to prison, and said ‘I love you’ to supporters in the public gallery before being taken to the cells.

Jurors also heard replies from Ahmed to other people’s Facebook posts related to World Trade Center conspiracies.

‘9/11 is the single most significant event,’ Ahmed’s comment read, ‘It really was the day the world changed.

‘A government to murder its own people in order to have an excuse to invade…..the Middle East.’

In his closing speech, Benjamin Newton, defending, said the prosecution ‘muddied the waters’ in terms of what Ahmed was actually on trial for.

Ahmed, from Tottenham, North London, denied wrongdoing, arguing her posts were political rather than antisemitic (stock image)

‘We do not prosecute everybody who writes something offensive on social media because there is a line. She is not on trial for being anti semitic.

‘Even if she was, if she came before you and said, ‘Actually I am predisposed against Jewish people,’ it is not a crime.

‘The prosecution have to prove to you that she is guilty of stirring up racial hatred.

‘And I suggest she absolutely did not, and the evidence makes it clear that was not her intention.

‘Freedom of speech is people being allowed to say things that you do not approve of. Our law recognises that.

‘This is why Tahra Ahmed is not guilty of a crime simply for posting material that is abusive or insulting… provided it does not intend to provoke violence.’

Giving evidence Ahmed told the court: ‘When you take things out of context, like you are with this, it totally bastardises it.

‘This whole thing is a sham — what is happening to me. For basically two Facebook posts I’m being hung drawn and quartered in a place where murderers are tried.

‘This is six days of taxpayers’ money being spent on 12 jurors and all these barristers and judges and for what?

‘For something that was stated five years ago. It is absolutely preposterous that you are taking something completely out of context and crucifying me for it.’

Ahmed told the court the ‘Jews’ she referred to in the posts were those who belonged to a criminal ‘cabal’ of ‘the evil elite who are orchestrating everything in order to divide and conquer the world’.

She said she was not referring to the ‘common Jew’ and said: ‘I have Jewish friends. Nobody ever said ‘Tahra that didn’t come across well’.

‘Because they know me; they know I’m not racist. They know that I love all people except the criminal elements.’

She added that she has made the distinction between the ‘common’ and ‘cabal’ Jew ‘hundreds of times’.

‘The one or two occasions where I haven’t qualified it, you have literally picked those two occasions where I have done that.’

A police investigation into Ahmed’s activities arose as a result of a story published in The Times newspaper on December 11 2017 which focused on some of the people who attended public meetings after the Grenfell fire. 

Ahmed, from Tottenham, north London, denied wrong-doing, telling jurors that her posts were political rather than antisemitic. 

Detective Sergeant Ross Burrell said: ‘The comments posted by Ahmed were grossly offensive, abusive and insulting. Her comments showed a clear intent to stir up racial hatred and such vile remarks will not be tolerated.

‘Those who seek to deliberately drive our communities apart by spreading such spite can expect to be brought to account. We’re here and ready to help anyone who has been affected by someone else’s prejudice, ignorance or violence.’

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