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Prosecuting Terrorism

Terrorism, race hate, crimes against humanity, war crimes, violent extremism, hijacking and espionage cases are tackled by a specialist team of Crown Prosecutors. The Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS includes highly experienced prosecutors, advocates and caseworkers who work closely with the police to bring offenders to justice.

Find out more about how we prosecute cases of terrorism.

Three men admit using internet to incite terrorism in first British case

05/07/2007

Three men who pleaded guilty to inciting murder for terrorist purposes under the Terrorism Act 2000 are the first in England and Wales to do so, said the Crown Prosecution Service.

Younes Tsouli, Waseem Mughal and Tariq Al-Daour admitted inciting another person to commit an act of terrorism wholly or partly outside the United Kingdom which would, if committed in England and Wales, constitute murder.

Colin Gibbs, lawyer in the CPS Counter Terrorism Division said:

"The trial started over two months ago and after the prosecution presented detailed evidence to the jury, the defendants changed their plea to guilty earlier this week.

"They admitted together purchasing web sites using stolen identities and credit card details, and used the websites to publish the extreme propaganda and recruiting material produced by al-Qaeda in Iraq. The material was crafted to incite and recruit suicide bombers accessing the websites and forums internationally.

"Behind the apparent normality of their daily lives, these young men firmly believed, supported and set about inciting others to follow an extreme ideology of violent holy war against so-called disbelievers."

The court was told that the three men used the internet to publish daily statements and films of the murder of coalition forces, police, officials and civilians together with footage of the beheading of hostages.

Mr Gibbs said: "Tsouli set up and administered an Arabic chat forum (al-Ansar) used by supporters of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and similar groups or sympathisers where terrorists were recruited, could become acquainted, inspired and educated from the explosives and weapons manuals and presentations, shared and available for downloading."

Susan Hemming, the Head of the Counter Terrorism Division said "Inciting someone to commit a terrorism act is a serious criminal offence and the CPS is determined to prosecute such cases of terrorism carried out from the UK with vigour."

The defendants' arrests in October 2005 lead to an international investigation by Counter Terrorism Command officers and the analysis of an unprecedented quantity of computer data.

Miss Hemming said: "The Crown Prosecution Service worked closely with police officers and Treasury Counsel, Mark Ellison and Richard Whittam, to sift the material into a detailed evidential case demonstrating the scale of the defendants' activity."

These offences required the consent of the Attorney General. The Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, said "Setting up chat rooms on the internet full of hatred and violence to recruit and train suicide bombers is a serious crime. Inciting others to commit murder for terrorist purposes will never be tolerated and this prosecution has shown that effective action can be taken.

I would like to congratulate the prosecution team and the police who have worked hard to reach this successful outcome."

  1. Younes Tsouli (aged 23, a Moroccan granted UK residence shortly before arrest) and Waseem Mughal (aged 23, a British citizen) pleaded guilty to incitement to commit an act of terrorism wholly or partly outside the United Kingdom, contrary to Section 59(1) of the Terrorism Act 2000, on July 2, 2007 at Woolwich Crown Court.
  2. Tariq Al-Daour (aged 20 a Jordanian granted British citizenship in mid 2004) pleaded guilty to incitement to commit an act of terrorism wholly or partly outside the United Kingdom, contrary to Section 59(1) of the Terrorism Act 2000, on July 4, 2007 at Woolwich Crown Court.
  3. The CPS asked the Attorney General's consent as the offences were "connected with the affairs of a country other than the UK" according to Section 117 (3) of TACT.
  4. The maximum sentence for section 59 is a life sentence.
  5. The trial started on April 23, 2007 at Woolwich Crown Court.
  6. For further enquiries or interview requests please contact CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8105.