A teenager was convicted of the murder of two sisters in a London park last year, who he stabbed to death after going through a government “de-radicalization” program.
Danyal Hussein, 19, murdered Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46. He is said to have drawn up a “contract” in his own blood with a demon to sacrifice women in exchange for winning the lottery.
While the killings were not treated as a terrorist attack, investigators can now be reported to consider that Hussein experienced “a form of radicalization” in terms of exposure to hidden material on the so-called dark web.
Investigators also believe he would have killed more women had he not injured his hand when he killed the sisters, an injury Hussein attributed to knife-point robbery on a visit for hospital treatment the next day.
To this day, the police have been unable to access Hussein’s full browsing history after seizing electronic devices, including an iPad, from his room. They have complained of obstacles to gaining such access as part of attempts to understand the adolescent’s mindset and the full scope of any communication with others.
“I find it incredibly frustrating to conduct a murder investigation with my hands tied behind my back like that,” he said. DCI Simon Harding, who led the investigation. It is understood that a request for assistance was forwarded to the United States Department of Justice, but was ultimately rejected.
The teenager, from Blackheath, southeast London, had been in online contact with other people about demons and spells, according to investigators.
Some of the spells were believed to have to do with making it attractive to women, but the police remain largely in the dark about other material. There was also some far-right component to some of the discussions, but researchers have been reluctant to go into detail.
Police said Hussein was referred to the counterterrorism prevention program in October 2017 by his school, the comprehensive Thomas Tallis in Blackheath, over concerns that he may have been showing signs of vulnerability to radicalization.
Then, after further evaluation, he was referred to the Canal program, a voluntary Prevention chapter, and received what the metropolitan police described as “adequate support and interventions.”
In May 2018, he was discharged from the Canal process with no outstanding concerns at the time regarding violent extremism or terrorism, according to Scotland Yard, and continued to receive support from his school, health and social services.
No further concerns were raised about his behavior regarding Prevent, whose officers also conducted a review six and 12 months after he was discharged from Channel.
“There hasn’t been a lot of information about how he was fascinated by demons and the occult because it was all done behind closed doors in his bedroom,” Harding said.
“I suppose it is another form of radicalization for him in terms of what he is seeing and what he is encouraged to watch on the dark web, but we were unable to access his account.”
Harding described the motive for the killings as unlike any other seen by police in the UK. Hussein was a “young man with an ideology” that had led him to commit the murders with a frightening calm.
The teenager, who has an autism spectrum disorder, had not been on the radar of mental health services before his arrest, according to Harding, who described Hussein’s ideology as one that had “cult following.”
Hussein, who refused to go to the witness stand and testify in his own defense during the trial, has continued to deny any involvement in the sisters’ murders.
Little was known about Hussein’s family history during the trial, but police described him as “uncomplicated”. He has several much younger siblings and had divided his time between his mother’s address in south-east London and his father’s home near the park where he committed the murders. He attended school and went on to sixth grade.
Smallman and Henry were killed during what prosecutors described as a “frenzied and relentless” attack on a night that was meant to be a celebration of the latter’s birthday.
A combination of forensic and CCTV evidence led police to Hussein, said the prosecutor, Oliver Glasgow QC, and his DNA was found on the bodies of both sisters, as well as on a bloodstained knife discovered near them. in Fryent Country Park.
The trial was shown documents taken from Hussein’s home, including a handwritten “contract” with “the mighty King Lucifuge Rofocale” in which the signer pledged to kill six women every six months in exchange for winning the lottery. Mega Millions Super Jackpot.
“My team and I are convinced that he would have committed more murders and we would have been looking at up to six in the first six months if he had fulfilled his contract,” Harding said.
“The injuries to his hand were so important that it would have been difficult for him to hold anything because it would have hurt a lot.”