A former soldier and Muslim convert with 'Islamic State (Isis) sympathies' who tried to buy a handgun and an Uzi from an undercover officer has been jailed for 18 years. Gavin Michael Rae, now known as Yaqub Rae, has become the first former serviceman to be jailed for Daesh (Isis) related offences after a sting operation last year.
In a series of undercover recordings the 36-year-old from Preston, Lancashire, regarded Britain as "horrible" and said the women in the UK were "filthy". The court had heard how the former serviceman failed three times to travel to join jihadists in Syria before attempting to get hold of a handgun or an Uzi submachinegun.
In October 2015 Rae agreed to meet an undercover officer at the Bicester Village shopping outlet near Oxford telling him he wanted to source a firearm. After his alleged attempt to reach Syria his children were taken from him.
Soon after he joined Fathers For Justice on Facebook, posting: "Remember that the more you push, the harder the reaction, the greater the fall. Hand back what's truly mine or, by the permission of Allah, I'll get what's mine anyway and you'll lose everything inshallah."
Justice Sweeney told Rae that he believes the railway construction worker was planning to take his children to Syria again. He said according to the Daily Mail: "You decided to gain possession of working firearms and a quantity of ammunition so if, in your view, it became necessary, you could take the children from this country by force and go on to take part in fighting abroad for a cause that you had, in the past, expressed your support for to undercover officers.
"Looking at the whole picture, including your extremist views, I have no doubt whatsoever you are a dangerous offender," Justice Sweeney added.
After meeting another officer in a hotel room at a Travelodge near Crewe, Cheshire, he was shown a Baikal handgun with a silencer, which Rae gave £850 for before asking for 'three more boxes' of ammunition and a spare magazine. "I wanna try and get hold of a, you know, the erm, Uzi," he told undercover officers before he was arrested.
During the trial Rae claimed he knew he was dealing with undercover officers and wanted to get arrested in order to expose the secrecy of the family courts. Rae was sentenced to 18 years concurrently with a five-year extended licence for two charges of attempting to buy the handgun and silencer with 16 rounds of ammunition, with intent to endanger life.
He was jailed for three years concurrently for three charges of encouraging an undercover officer to sell him a pistol or an Uzi submachinegun with ammunition.
Chief Superintendent Tony Mole from the North West Counter-Terrorism Unit said: "Rae had previous military training, a conviction for armed robbery, and a capacity for extreme violence. He had developed sympathies for Daesh [ISIS] and grievances against society which made for a toxic mix and in my view he was a dangerous man and a highly unstable character."