Five students win terror appeal

#1 (external - login to view)


The convictions of five young Muslim men jailed over extremist literature have been quashed by the Appeal Court.

Freeing the men, the Lord Chief Justice said their convictions for downloading extremist propaganda were unsafe as there was no proof of terrorist intent.

A jury convicted the students in 2007 after hearing the men, of Bradford and Ilford, east London, became obsessed with jihadi websites and literature.

The lawyer for one said they had been jailed for a "thought crime".

'Difficult questions'

In one of the first trials of its kind, Irfan Raja, Awaab Iqbal, Aitzaz Zafar, Usman Malik and Akbar Butt were jailed by an Old Bailey judge for downloading and sharing extremist terrorism-related material. The men all received sentences of between two and three years.
But at the Court of Appeal, Lord Phillips said the men had clearly downloaded extremist material but he doubted if there was evidence to support the prosecution's case that this was in relation to planning terrorist acts.

"Difficult questions of interpretation have been raised in this case by the attempt by the prosecution to use [this law] for a purpose for which it was not intended," he said.

What the hell.... that'd be like myself or anybody else on these forums checking out extremist web sites for the simple sake of trying to better understand. Our own want for knowlege as to why they hate us would in turn make us terrorist suspects by the same actions as these men took. They may have been interested and wanted to promote the extremist ways, but I see no evidence yet proving this as being any different then myself looking up information for educational purposes.


......Lawyers for the five men say the decision to restrict how the law on extremist literature works has huge implications for counter terrorism prosecutions.

Critics inside the muslim community and civil liberty campaigners say section 57 of 2000 Terrorism Act has been used as a blunt instrument to prosecute young muslim men where there is no proof of genuine links to terrorism.

The BBC understands there have been three other convictions under this legislation - but a string of related cases are expected before the courts this year.

The government has seven days in which to decide whether to appeal against the ruling.
Imran Khan, solicitor for Mr Zafar, said they had been prosecuted for "thought crime".

Sounds about right to me.....


And in a statement released through his solicitors, Mr Malik said he had always maintained his innocence and had been vindicated by the Lord Chief Justice.

"It is a great thing to live in a country where the Lord Chief Justice takes the time from hearing important cases to see if a group of unknown students have been fairly convicted for reading the wrong kind of literature," he said.

"As I said when I was arrested, I do not, have not and will not support terrorism in any form against innocent people.

"My prosecution was a test case under the 2000 Terrorism Act. Today's decision means no first year student can ever be prosecuted again under this Act for possessing extremist literature."

To view Mohammed Irfan Raja's letter (external - login to view): (external - login to view)


Online chatrooms


During the trial, the jury heard that the four Bradford students were arrested after Mr Raja, then a schoolboy in Ilford, had run away to join them in Yorkshire.

The teenager, who had been unhappy at home, left a note for his parents saying he was going to fight abroad after getting to know the others via online chatrooms used by extremist recruiters.

But within days, he realised his mistake and returned home. His parents, shocked by the letter, had already alerted the police. Mr Raja co-operated with detectives, leading to the arrest of all five of the group and the collection of the extremist material.

Smooth move Ex-Lax.....


But in their hearing before the Court of Appeal, the men argued that they should not have been convicted solely on the allegation that they had downloaded and shared literature off the internet.

And "Fight abroad" could mean many things.


The material included publications popular among extreme Islamist organisations, encouraging Muslims to fight. One of the five had also used a computer to superimpose his own face on a montage of the 9/11 hijackers.

But lawyers for the men said that the law had been designed to catch people holding plans for bombs rather than propaganda.

None of the men possessed information which suggested they were plotting a bomb attack, although there had been talk of heading to Pakistan for paramilitary training.

Talk is not action. Sometimes I'd like to see something unfortunate occur to Bush, but that doesn't mean I'm going to do anything. And let's not forget that as a teenager, extremes are a common everyday trend in life. Many feel like running away or saying something/doing something that will get attention from their parents and loved ones, but usually won't actually carry things out once they think things through.... much like what occured here.


The prosecution, they argued, had relied on a "maverick use" of the law which had never been intended by Parliament, said the appeal lawyers.

Joel Bennathan QC, for Mr Zafar, told the Court of Appeal that his client had been criminalised over literature.

"The evidence at trial was that [Mr Zafar] made no attempt to conceal his very large collection of pro-jihadi sermons and lectures," said Mr Bennathan in his written arguments to the court.
"His computer had no password, nor was any significant material encrypted or deleted."

Just imagine what they'd find on my computer.... oh yeah... nothing cuz I reformatted it not too long ago.

It was just porn anyways.
Praxious, it takes more then a format to actually destroy the data
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

Praxious, it takes more then a format to actually destroy the data

Oh I know, but I believe I've repartitioned/reformatted several times since the last time I had the Pentigon's Blueprints and Barb Bush's Bikini Beach Shot on my HD.

The chances of those files not being overwritten by now are slim.
I think not
Quote: Originally Posted by PraxiusView Post

Oh I know, but I believe I've repartitioned/reformatted several times since the last time I had the Pentigon's Blueprints and Barb Bush's Bikini Beach Shot on my HD.

The chances of those files not being overwritten by now are slim.

That's worth money during election period. I'll hook you up with the right people if we split the profits.
fair enough, just handle the Barb pics with gloves, as for some reason I tend to get this filmy sensation on my fingers I can't wash off.... feels sorta evil.
Praxius, send me a PM with the Barb Pics, thanks.

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