Guilty: Woman stirred up racial hatred with social media posts on Grenfell

Achilleas Costa appeared at the Old Bailey accused of murdering a father and daughter in Wood Green

Tahra Ahmed was found guilty of stirring up racial hatred by publishing written material, following a trial at the Old Bailey. - Credit: PA

A woman who claimed on social media that Grenfell Tower victims were “burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice” has been found guilty of stirring up race hate.

Tahra Ahmed, 51, of Lansdowne Road in Tottenham, posted “virulently” antisemitic conspiracy theories on Facebook - with one sent just days after the tragic fire that claimed the lives of 72 people.

An Old Bailey jury deliberated for eight hours to find her guilty of two charges of stirring up racial hatred by publishing written material.

During the trial, prosecutor Hugh French said Ahmed’s posts in January and June 2017 had “crossed the line as to what is acceptable in a liberal society”.

On June 18 2017 – four days after the disaster – she posted a video on Facebook of the blaze and referred to it as a “Jewish sacrifice”.

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.

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“Watch the footage of people trapped in the inferno with flames behind them.

“They were burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice.”

Ahmed went on to link Grenfell to an antisemitic conspiracy surrounding the 9/11 terror attacks in New York in 2001.

Jurors were told that she laid out a similarly antisemitic theory in an earlier post, written on January 26 of the same year.

Police launched an investigation after a story was published in The Times newspaper on December 11 2017, focusing on some of those who attended public meetings after the fire.

An examination of Ahmed’s Facebook account revealed a history of antisemitic comments, the court heard.

Mr French said that, while Ahmed’s Facebook account demonstrated “strongly held beliefs”, the two posts identified were “clear demonstrations of racial hatred”.

The prosecutor 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 either intending to stir up racial hatred (or) that racial hatred was likely to be stirred up.”

Ahmed, from Tottenham, denied wrongdoing, arguing her posts were political rather than antisemitic.

Judge Mark Dennis adjourned sentencing until February 11.