Daily Mail Online, December 5, 2017.
A university lecturer who was granted asylum in the UK allegedly flew out to an Ethiopian terrorist training camp and was caught with a ‘Terrorism for Dummies’ manual.
Tadesse Kersmo, 51, was arrested by counter terrorism officers at London Heathrow Airport in September last year on an inbound flight from Eritrea, via Cairo.
Snaresbrook Crown Court today heard the Ethiopian national collected military-themed documents about guerrilla warfare tactics, including one called ‘Put ’em down Take ’em Out Knife Fighting’.
Within a file marked ‘military’ on his hard drive he had a manual on US Navy Seal sniper training, jurors were told.
Downloaded on May 11th, 2016, it contained information on hitting moving targets, shooting at night, weapons and training schedules.
Asked why he would download such a manual, Kersmo told police: ‘Well simply interested and I found them because they’re there, I don’t know actually, actually I cannot explain.
‘I simply get documents, I downloaded them.’
He denied downloading it to train himself or others to be snipers, and said he had no skills with weapons.
He is alleged to have been a prominent critic of his country’s government before he fled to the United Kingdom and was granted asylum in 2009.
He was charged with seven counts of possessing articles containing information likely to be useful to terrorists and one count of attending a training camp.
The charges he faces relate to activity for an overseas Ethiopian political movement.
A file on his hard drive, called ‘Combat Manual’, subdivided into sections called ‘Hand-to-Hand Fighting’, ‘Knife Fighting’, ‘Knife Throwing’ and ‘Marksmanship’.
One file, a book called Put ‘Em Down Take ‘Em Out, written by a former inmate of maximum security Folsom Prison in California, was downloaded on May 12 last year.
The manual contained guidance on knife attacks, including carrying out a practice drill on a dummy with a real knife.
It then asked 17 questions about the drill, ending with, ‘did you kill the opponent?’