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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.

First conviction for directing terrorism as a member of al-Qaeda


The conviction of Rangzieb Ahmed for directing terrorism as a member of al-Qaeda is the first time someone has been found guilty of these offences in England and Wales, said Mark Topping, reviewing lawyer in the Crown Prosecution Service's Counter Terrorism Division.

He said: "Rangzieb Ahmed was an important member of al-Qaeda and in a position to direct some of its activities. In one recorded conversation he described himself as 'more than a manager'. He was involved in a mission which was called off when al-Qaeda's director of operations was killed and Rangzieb Ahmed returned to the UK.

"Those in charge would not send a low level member on this exercise but a trusted and trained member of the organisation. We believe that he was a significant player and the maximum sentence for such activity is life imprisonment. The actual sentence is a matter for the judge.

"This was a complicated case which demonstrates effective teamwork between the CPS, prosecuting counsel and police."

Rangzieb Ahmed's co-accused, Habib Ahmed, was also found guilty of membership of al-Qaeda and of possessing books and a document for a purpose connected with terrorism. Habib Ahmed's wife, Mehreen Haji was found not guilty of arranging funding for the purposes of terrorism.


  1. For further information contact the CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8180.
  2. The Crown Prosecution Service is the independent authority responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:
    • Advising the police and reviewing the evidence on cases for possible prosecution
    • Deciding the charge where the decision is to prosecute
    • Preparing cases for court
    • Presenting cases at court
  3. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,400 people and prosecuted 1,091,250 cases with an overall conviction rate of 85.1% in 2007-2008. Further information can be found on the CPS website.
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. The Protocol is published on our website at: