AN alleged supporter of Islamic State accused of planning a terror attack has told a court he was researching the group, claiming it was created by the US to stoke Islamophobia.

Hisham Muhammad, 26, from Whitefield, is accused of planning a “lone-wolf attack” using knives and other weapons, with the armed forces or police as possible targets, as well as developing a drone to drop a “harmful device”.

The Old Bailey heard Muhammad watched dozens of videos from extremist groups including songs and chants known as nasheeds.

Anne Whyte QC, prosecuting, said there was “nothing nice” in the videos or their lyrics, describing one clip as "jihadis speaking of holy war".

Muhammad said while he watched the videos, he denies engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism, claiming it was research.

In his defence, the court heard Muhammad said: “I have long held the suspicion as a devout Muslim that much of the material about Islamic State is misrepresented or exaggerated in order to increase Islamophobia, especially in countries like the UK where there is a desire to restrict Muslim immigration.”

The 26-year-old told jurors “a lot more research” needed to be done into the terror group.

He said: “I don’t believe it exists, I believe it was created by America. I believe it was created by America to take away the rights of Muslims.”

Jurors head the lyrics to one song included the line “by the knife of horror we cut their necks”.

Muhammad said he did not support the violent actions described in the videos but “liked the tune” of one of the songs.

The 26-year-old told jurors he also listened to genres such as gangster rap and drill, which can also feature violent lyrics.

“I listen to gangster rap but I don’t support it,” he said.

Miss Whyte said Muhammad, of Victoria Avenue, had watched the videos “umpteen” times.

She added: “You are not conducting research, you are motivating yourself.”

“It’s not true, it’s not true,” Muhammad replied.

Police found several weapons, including a tomahawk and a machete, inside his three-bedroom rented house.

Jurors were told Muhammad's online search terms covered “armed police Manchester”, suicide belt, Isis and machete, and Manchester's Victoria Station.

Muhammad told the jury he was researching the station as he had a job interview nearby and had never heard of a suicide belt.

Muhammad’s cousin Faisal Abu Ahmad, 25, also of Victoria Avenue, denies failing to alert authorities of the alleged attack plan.

The trial continues.