A Preston man who bought semi-automatic weaponry and ammunition from undercover operatives, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Gavin Rae, also known as Yakub Rae, was charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. The 36-year-old was also found guilty of attempting to possess ammunition with intent to endanger life, and three counts of encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence.
Rae was sentenced at The Old Bailey in July following an earlier trial in Preston Crown Court. He was also given an extended licence period of five years.
Rae’s behaviour raised concern and a police operation was put in place to monitor his activities, after Rae attempted to travel to Syria in July 2014 and July 2015.
Between September and November 2015 Rae met several times with undercover operatives. During the course of this time, Rae asked for help in restoring de-commissioned firearms.
He went on to request a semi-automatic weapon, silencer and ammunition and agreed to purchase a Baikal handgun, silencer and 16 bullets.
On 3 November 2015, Rae purchased these items and agreed to buy more weapons and ammunition. He enquired about purchasing and converting a deactivated Uzi sub machine gun to a working firearm.
Rae was detained by armed police officers, subsequently arrested and taken into custody.
Chief Superintendent Tony Mole from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit said “The calculated efforts made by Rae to request such a volume of live semi-automatic weapons and ammunition is deeply concerning, particularly given his background military training in the use of weaponry.