Isis istock
Umar Haque admitted showing an Isis video in class to give students a 'more holistic' view of Isis Getty

A teacher accused of planning a string of terror attacks in some of the UK's most famous landmarks has admitted to showing his pupils Isis-propaganda videos in the classroom.

Umar Haque, 25, said he agreed to play the students videos from the Jihadist terror group in order to give a "more holistic idea" of who they were.

He said he played the video while working at the Lantern of Knowledge School in Leyton, east London, between April 2015 and January 2016.

Haque, who is also faces a charge of training youngsters in terrorism at the Ripple Road mosque in Barking, east London, is on trial at the Old Bailey alongside three other men charged with preparing acts of terrorism.

The men are accused of planning "one or more violent attacks" in the UK and had identified London's Big Ben, Heathrow Airport, the Queen's Guard and Houses of Parliament among a number of potential targets. All four deny the accusations.

Giving evidence at the Old Bailey, Haque admitted to playing an Isis YouTube video when requested to do so, reports the Belfast Telegraph.

He said: "During my Islamic studies lessons I would always play videos relevant to the topic. It was the end of term. The most well behaved of the class, I told them you can pick a video.

"I was shocked that he says 'Sir, I want to see an Isis video'. I said all right then. It was obviously not a good idea."

Haque also said he would often discuss the Isis terror attacks which occurred across Europe as they "sparked curiosity" among his students.

He said: "Whenever these events happened I would say to them, because we are not exactly sure what happened, maybe they are good, their intentions are good but the media is twisting things telling only one side."

The court also heard how Haque considered the terror attacks in Europe justified but the belief "felt heavy on his chest".

He told the jury: "I'm not happy to see bloodshed. I'm not a blood-thirsty person. The only reason why we agree with such attacks in the West is the fact the British government and the American government have killed thousands.

"That's what bombs do to things – burn bodies. I'm empathising with them. I see why it is justified for attacks in the West."

When asked about the notebooks containing "attack plans" which were seized from his east London home following his arrest, Haque told the court: "I was thinking if someone did want to launch an attack in the UK, how would someone go about it. This is based on a battle, a theoretical battle.

"I had no intention of turning this into a practicality."

The trial continues.