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The Counter-Terrorism Division of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) - cases concluded in 2008

Included in the list below is a brief summary of the cases which have been concluded in 2008. It should be noted that, as a general rule, a defendant is entitled to a one third discount on his sentence if he pleads guilty at the earliest opportunity, with a sliding scale for guilty pleas which are entered later than that. If a defendant is found guilty after trial, the Court can consider the maximum tariff to be available, subject to any personal mitigation that may be submitted on the defendant's behalf. Where a life sentence has been imposed, the tariff shown as the minimum sentence is the time to be served before parole can be considered. Some life sentences are shown as indefinite in which case it is for the Parole Board to monitor the defendant's progress towards a time when he can be considered for release.

Bilal Mohammed

The defendant, an associate of Rizwan Ditta, had come under Ditta's influence. He had developed a business distributing extremist Islamic (and other) material on DVD and CD, including material glorifying the 9/11 attacks and supporting the Palestinian struggle against Israel. He routinely took trips around the country and set up stalls where he sold some of his material. All the material was designed to induce young British Muslims to be recruited to the terrorist cause.

He pleaded guilty to possessing nine terrorist publications with a view to selling or distributing them, pursuant to section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006. This was the first time this section of the Act had been used independently.

On 19 March 2008 he was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment, including the 14 months he had already served in custody following a raid on his home in January 2007.

On appeal his sentence was reduced to 2 years imprisonment.

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Zafar and Others

This case involved 5 defendants, Raja, Iqbal, Zafar, Malik and Butt. Raja collated and downloaded information from his computer onto 3 discs over a period of several months. He then left a suicide note for his family and took these discs with him to Bradford where he had arranged to meet other like minded males with whom he had been communicating on the internet and who had all expressed a common desire to travel abroad to become involved in violent jihad.

As well as leaving a letter, Raja had left a martyr's song on his computer for his family to find after he had gone. The family, who immediately feared that he had been persuaded to join terrorists because he was a vulnerable young man, called the police.

After 2 days in Bradford Raja lost his nerve and returned home and was thereafter arrested by the police. The information that Raja furnished the police with led to the arrests of the other 4 students (Iqbal, Zafar, Malik and Butt) in Bradford. Their computer hard drives were interrogated and this revealed that the defendants were directly in contact with a foreign based terrorist and their intention to undertake violent jihad.

All 5 defendants were charged with possessing articles (extremist literature and saved MSN conversations) in circumstances which gave rise to a reasonable suspicion that their possession was for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism, pursuant to section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Here, the purpose was to instigate each other to undertake violent jihad. ( At the time of their charge the Terrorism Act 2006 was not in force)

The issue of whether documents and records, including electronically stored information, could be "articles" for the purposes of section 57 was considered by the Court of Appeal, and following the case of Rowe in March 2007, a ruling was given in the present case in April 2007 that followed Rowe, i.e. documents and records could be "articles" for the purposes of section 57.

Following the trial all 5 defendants were convicted of offences under section 57 and awarded sentences ranging between 2 and 3 years imprisonment.

All 5 defendants appealed against convictions under section 57 and the Court of Appeal quashed their conviction, ruling in connection with section 57 that an offence could only be committed under that section if there was a direct connection between the article possessed by the defendant and a future act of terrorism. The court found there was no such connection in this case.

The prosecution decided not to appeal the judgment or to seek a retrial in this case.

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Qureshi

The defendant was stopped at Heathrow Airport in October 2006 as he was about to board a plane to Islamabad, Pakistan. He was found to be carrying with him items including outdoor equipment, night vision binoculars, medical clothing, mobile phones and £9000 cash. The prosecution case was that his purpose in making the trip to Pakistan was to commit acts of terrorism or assist others to do so. He was also carrying a laptop containing a large quantity of material likely to be useful to those committing or preparing acts of terrorism and a CD that contained motivational material which the prosecution alleged he was clearly taking with him to keep his mind focused on a terrorist goal. His home computer was searched and was found to have a farewell letter saved on it.

The defendant was charged with 3 offences, one under section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 (preparation of terrorist acts), one under section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (possession of articles in circumstances which give rise to a reasonable suspicion that the possession is for a purpose connected with terrorism) and one under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (possession of a document or record likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism).

He pleaded guilty to all 3 offences and was sentenced to 4.5 years imprisonment for the section 5 offence and 3 years and 18 months (to be served concurrently) for the sections 57 and 58 offences.

The Attorney General gave consent for the Crown to appeal against the sentence on the ground that it was unduly lenient. The Court of Appeal agreed that the sentence was lenient but not unduly so, therefore the appeal against sentence was refused.

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Malik

In October 2006 the defendant was charged with one offence under section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (possession of an article for terrorist purposes) and one offence under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (collecting or making a record of information or possessing a document of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act or terrorism).

In November 2007 the defendant was found not guilty at the Old Bailey of the section 57 offence but guilty of the section 58 offence.

In February 2008 a Court of Appeal decision in the case of R v K clarified the meaning of section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The court ruled that an offence would be committed only if the document or record concerned was of a kind that was likely to provide practical assistance to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. A document that simply encouraged the commission of acts of terrorism was not sufficient.

As a result of this case the defendant successfully appealed against her conviction and in June 2008, in response to the defendant's appeal, the CPS decided not to seek a retrial after the Court of Appeal quashed her conviction on the basis that some of the 21 documents that were relied upon by the prosecution in the defendant's trial would now, in light of R v K, no longer be held capable of giving practical assistance to terrorists.

It is worth noting that Malik was prosecuted after, working airside at Heathrow, she had supplied information about airport security procedures to Sohail Quereshi (see above).

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Khan and Others

Parviz Khan was the central figure in a group based in Birmingham that purchased and supplied items for use in acts of terrorism abroad. He was also, with four other defendants (Iqbal, Irfan, Gassama and Elasmar), engaging in conduct to give effect to his intention to kidnap and kill a member of the British Armed Forces. Police evidence was gathered by means of a listening device in the home of Khan. Searches of the five defendants' home addresses revealed varying quantities of extremist material.

Of the five defendants, Khan pleaded guilty to two offences under section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 (preparation of terrorist acts) and received a life sentence (minimum 14 years imprisonment).

Iqbal was convicted after trial of a section 5 offence and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment; Irfan pleaded guilty to a section 5 offence and received 4 years; Gassama pleaded guilty to an offence under section 38B of the Terrorism Act 2000 and received 2 years imprisonment with an order for immediate deportation; Elasmar pleaded guilty to a section 5 offence and received 3 years and 4 months imprisonment. A sixth defendant, Mahmood was acquitted.

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Robinson and Cooke

Two packages had been prepared and sent through the postal system, one to a local councillor, the other to a local journalist. They each included a miniature vodka bottle containing sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). It is a highly toxic and corrosive chemical substance and was of such a concentration as to be lethal if ingested. It causes severe burns when in contact with the skin. The packages also contained a note to each recipient clearly setting out the aims of the sender. In the case of the note to the journalist, the threat was that 'we will lethally poison England's water supplies, if they do not withdraw totally from Scotland'.

Robinson pleaded guilty in 2007 to two offences of using a noxious thing or substance to cause harm and intimidate, relating to the Scottish National Liberation Army, a small militant group which aims to bring about Scottish independence. His co-defendant Cooke was convicted of the same two offences after trial. Both were sentenced on 25 January 2008 to 6 year's imprisonment.

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Hamid, Ahmet and Others

Between 2004 and 2006 Mohammed Hamid and Atilla Ahmet were involved in the radicalisation and training of Islamic youths and young men in the London area. A listening device was installed at Hamid's home address and recorded the frequent Friday evening meetings held there. Hamid and Ahmet used the meetings as a grooming mechanism for those attending, preparing them and radicalising them for Jihad and encouraging them to murder non-believers. The meetings also served as preparations for the weekend training and paintballing exercises organised by Hamid.

An undercover officer was tasked to infiltrate the group, which he did. He attended the meetings and camping and paintballing trips and was able to give detailed evidence about the training given by Hamid and a third defendant, Da Costa. This included basic fitness training but also military training and was clearly training for terrorism. After their arrests, extremist literature and DVDs were recovered.

Ahmet pleaded guilty to 3 counts of solicitation to murder in 2007. He was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment in 2008 at the end of the trial of the other defendants.

Hamid was convicted of solicitation to murder and of providing terrorism training and sentenced to an indefinite life term.

Da Costa was convicted of providing terrorism training, attending a place used for terrorist training and an offence under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (collection, making a record of or possessing a document or record of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism) and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment.

The fourth defendant, Kader Ahmed was convicted of attending a place used for terrorist training and received 3.75 years imprisonment.

The fifth defendant, Al Figarie was also convicted of attending a place used for terrorist training and a section 58 offence and sentenced to 4.5 years.

The sixth defendant, Yassin Mutegumbwa pleaded guilty to attending a place used for terrorist training and received 3.5 years.

The seventh defendant, Kyriacou pleaded guilty to both attending a place used for terrorist training and a section 58 offence, receiving 3.5 years.

Two other defendants connected to this case were also convicted of terrorism offences. Mustafa Abdullah pleaded guilty to a section 58 offence (possession of 'Zaad-e'Mujahid') and was sentenced to 2 years' imprisonment; he had been seen in the company of some of the other defendants more than once and he was known to have extremist views. Hassan Mutegumbwa was convicted of fundraising for terrorism. He had asked an undercover officer for money for a one way flight to Kenya. It was believed that this was in order to travel to Somalia to commit Jihad: he had been conducting relevant research on the internet. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

The final defendant, Mousa Brown, was acquitted.

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Hodges

The defendant had sent an identical letter to several hundred addresses. The letter glorified terrorist attacks including 7/7 and 9/11 and praised Osama Bin Laden. It also stated 'you are right to kill infidels' but are mistaken in targeting planes and the underground, suggesting appropriate targets would be four listed accountancy institutions as they are connected to the 'corrupt and decadent western society and economy of our enemy'. The letter also suggested that 'a parcel or letter bomb would be most effective'

The defendant pleaded guilty to an offence under section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006 (encouragement of terrorism) on 19 February 2008 and received 2 years imprisonment.

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Kalid Khaliq (K)

This offence came to light after a search of the defendant's home address in Leeds after the 7 July 2005 bombings in London when 52 people were killed. He had been a close friend of Mohammed Siddique Khan, one of the 7 July murderers. Also, the defendant, Khan and one of the other murderers, Shahzad Tanweer, had been trustees of a bookshop and Islamic Centre in Leeds.

The defendant was charged on an indictment containing 3 counts contrary to section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Count 1 related to his possession of a CD Rom containing a copy of the Al Qaeda Training Manual, count 2 related to his possession of a copy of a publication called "Zaer-e-Mujahid" and count 3 related to his possession of a copy of a publication entitled "The Absent Obligation".

The defendant lodged an application at a preparatory hearing on the basis that the continued prosecution against him amounted to an abuse of process. His application was rejected but the defendant was given leave to appeal against the ruling. Leave was granted by the Court of Appeal.

The defendant did not seek to exclude count 1, to which he later pleaded guilty, but the Court of Appeal heard submissions by the defence that section 58 was insufficiently certain to comply with the common law or Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and, secondly, that section 58 was never intended to cover the possession of theological or propagandist material.

The Court of Appeal decided that a document or record will only fall within section 58 if it is of a kind that is likely to provide practical assistance to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. A document that simply encourages the commission of acts of terrorism does not fall within the scope of the section.

Further the Court of Appeal decided that it was not legitimate to seek to demonstrate by reference to extrinsic evidence, that a document, innocuous on its face, was intended to be used for the purpose of committing or preparing a terrorist act. Extrinsic evidence however may be adduced to explain the nature of the information.

Finally the Court of Appeal sought to define "reasonable excuse" as meaning that it is a defence if the document or record is possessed for a purpose other than to assist in the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism. It matters not that the other purpose may infringe some other provision of the criminal or civil law.

The prosecution, in light of the Court of Appeal's findings in relation to section 58, did not proceed on counts 2 and 3. The defendant pleaded guilty to count 1, possession of the Al Qaeda manual, and was sentenced on 11 March 2008 to 16 months' imprisonment.

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Saleem and Others

In February 2006 there was a protest outside the Danish Embassy in London at the publication in Denmark of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed. Many Muslims took great exception to that but there was also an extreme reaction from a small fundamentalist element. Public disorder at the protest followed as well as arrests for inciting racial hatred and soliciting murder. Following the protest the police searched an address in North London (the former address of Omar Bakri) where, amongst a very large amount of computer material, the police discovered one particular DVD, which was almost 5 hours in length and was a record of some of the speeches made by the defendants at the Regents Park Mosque in November 2004 during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. It was these speeches that gave rise to the two principal charges in this case.

All 8 defendants; Saleem, Brooks, Hussain, Zaheer, Keeler, Khan, Hassan and Muhid, were charged with fundraising for terrorist purposes (under section 15 of the Terrorism Act 2000) and 5 of them (Saleem, Brooks, Keeler, Khan and Hassan) were charged with inciting acts of terrorism overseas (under section 59 of the Terrorism Act 2000). Brooks was also charged with encouraging terrorism (under section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006).

In essence, all 8 defendants, who were members or associated with an extremist Islamic group called Al-Muhajiroun, jointly sought to raise money to be sent to Iraq to support the terrorist insurgents in their attacks on Coalition Forces. Five of the defendants went further than simply seeking to raise money for terrorist activity. They actually incited others to join in the jihad in Iraq, to join the insurgency and to take up arms against American and British forces serving there.

The trial lasted from January to April 2008. The following verdicts were delivered on 17th April and the defendants were sentenced the next day:

Saleem - Not guilty to fundraising for terrorist purposes, guilty to inciting terrorism overseas (3 years 9 months imprisonment)

Brooks - Guilty to fundraising (2.5 years), guilty to inciting terrorism overseas (4.5 years concurrent) and no verdict (later recorded as not guilty) to encouragement of terrorism.

Hussain - Guilty to fundraising (2 years).

Zaheer - No verdict (later recorded as not guilty) to fundraising.

Keeler - Guilty to fundraising (2.5 years), guilty to inciting terrorism overseas (4.5 years concurrent).

Khan - Not guilty to fundraising, no verdict (later recorded as not guilty) to inciting terrorism overseas.

Hassan - Not guilty to fundraising, guilty to inciting terrorism overseas (2 years 9 months).

Muhid - Guilty to fundraising (2 years).

In addition Hussain admitted failing to surrender and was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment to run consecutively to his sentence on count 1.

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Saeede Ghafoor

The defendant pleaded guilty to an offence under section 2 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 (he threatened to blow up the Bluewater Shopping Centre) and was sentenced on 20 June 2008 to 12 months' imprisonment.

On 16 October 2008, whilst in prison serving his custodial sentence for the above offence the defendant informed police officers that he was planning a terrorist attack at Southampton Hospital using gas canisters and a car bomb and that this attack would take place on his release from prison; he had been due to be released on 19 December. He had been questioned about this threat to which he had responded that he supported the violent, powerful method and that it would make people aware of Muslim issues. He stated also that he did not want to integrate into society and that he supported Al-Qaeda which he did not regard as a terrorist organisation. He could give no date or time but stated he did not plan this to be a suicide attack.

In January 2009 after pleading guilty to this latest section 2 offence, he was sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment.

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Owen Dodds

The defendant had made an improvised explosive device (bomb) in his bedroom. When testing the device it exploded, injuring Dodds to the extent that he had to be airlifted to hospital. A search of his home revealed further items that could be used to make such devices including chemicals and instructions on how to do so. Police also found two devices that had already been made and a homemade loaded pistol and ammunition.

The defendant pleaded guilty to 12 offences contrary to Section 4 of the Explosive Substances Act 1883 (making or possessing explosives) and two offences contrary to the Firearms Act (pistol and ammunition). He was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment on each of the first 12 counts to run concurrently; 5 years for making a prohibited weapon, to run consecutively, and a further 12 months concurrent for possession of ammunition when prohibited, a total of 7 years imprisonment.

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Khan, Muhammed, Munshi and Sulieman

Aabid Khan arrived at Manchester Airport from Pakistan on 6 June 2006. He was stopped by police and his luggage searched. Police found 2 computer hard drives, 16 CDs and a quantity of documents. The contents of this material showed Khan to be a significant figure in promoting the cause of violent jihad, not just in the UK but via the internet in the English speaking world, and inciting others to participate. He was a recruiter of others and evidence showed he also facilitated trips to Pakistan. The material in his possession included handwritten documents that showed his intention to take part in acts of murder and terrorism.

He was convicted after trial of 3 counts of possessing an article for a purpose connected with terrorism, under section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000, namely a hard disk and 2 DVDs. He was sentenced in September 2008 to a total of 12 years imprisonment.

Sultan Muhammad was a friend of Khan's and they lived close to each other in Bradford. He went on the run the day that Khan was arrested. All that is known of his whereabouts until his arrest on 19 June 2008 in London is that he had travelled to London on 17 June. A search of his bedroom revealed a collection of CDs, books and manuals that contained the same sort of material. These included the most significant videos released by Al Qaeda groups to promote their cause and in some cases he had more than one copy; a number of compilation CDs which glorified killing and dying as a martyr; and detailed practical information about making and using various types of weapons and explosives and in addition, a video with a step-by-step guide of how to make a suicide bombers vest.

He was convicted after trial of 3 counts of possessing an article for a purpose connected with terrorism, (section 57), namely a hard disk, a DVD, and a wallet of documents detailing the practical information described above. He was also convicted of a fourth count under section 57 of making a record of information likely to be useful to a terrorist. This was a file entitled: 'Draft Ideas' created by him and prepared to assist those who were preparing for an act of terrorism. He was sentenced to total of 10 years imprisonment.

Hammaad Munshi was also a friend of Khan's. He was convicted of one count under section 57 of making a record of information likely to be useful to a terrorist, namely a file entitled:' How to make Napalm' which he had created from the internet. A quantity of propaganda videos and audio recordings, stored on the family computer, were found during a search and he had further extremist documents on his MP3 Player. He was 16 years old at the time of the offence. He received a sentence of 2 years in a Young Offenders' Institute.

A fourth defendant, Ahmed Hassan Sulieman, was acquitted of one count under section 57, possessing an article for a purpose connected with terrorism.

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Mohammed Saeed Alim aka Nicky Reilly

On 15 October 2008 the defendant pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder and one count of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts under section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

Reilly went into the Giraffe Restaurant in central Exeter just after midday on 22 May 2008. He was carrying a rucksack containing 2 different types of improvised explosive devices (bombs), which were in glass bottles and contained nails. He went to a toilet cubicle and set about preparing 3 of the devices for detonation. Once he had prepared them, they started to detonate prematurely and although he then tried to pick them up and get back into the restaurant, he failed to do so. The devices exploded, causing him injury. Subsequent enquiries revealed that he had intended to kill innocent people in the restaurant and to martyr himself.

In addition, evidence found later on his computer, revealed that he had investigated several other potential targets for a terrorist attack, all of which were in Plymouth. He had also researched the making of, preparation and transport of another type of improvised explosive device that eh did not use on 22 May. These acts provided the basis for the second count under section 5.

On 30 January 2009 the defendant received a life sentence (minimum 18 years imprisonment) on each of the 2 counts.

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Bilal Abdulla, Mohammed Asha and Sabeel Ahmed ("The London/Glasgow Bombings")

This case related to the attempted car bombing outside Tiger Tiger Nightclub in London on 29 June 2007 and the Glasgow Airport attack on 30 June 2007.

In summary the facts of the first incident were that in the early hours of 29 June 2007, two Mercedes vehicles were left in central London. They each contained vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (bombs). One vehicle was left in Haymarket, outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub, just around the corner in Cockspur Street, where anyone leaving Haymarket hastily would be likely to flee. Repeated, but fortunately unsuccessful, attempts were made to detonate the devices through use of mobiles phones. The vehicle outside the nightclub was noticed by the General Manager of the club in the early hours of 29 June 2007. He noticed smoke coming from the vehicle, a smell of gas and after unsuccessfully trying to locate the driver of the vehicle he called the police and started evacuating the club, which was full at the time. A parking attendant who had helped the police cordon off Haymarket walked around the corner and found the second vehicle in Cockspur Street. The vehicle was parked illegally at a bus stop and was issued a parking ticket and towed to a car pound in Park Lane. Items that were recovered from the devices in the vehicles contained the DNA of Abdullah and Kafeel Ahmed (Sabeel Ahmed's brother).

In relation to the second incident, at 1515 hrs on 30 June 2007 a vehicle born improvised explosive device (bomb) contained in a Jeep Cherokee was driven directly at Terminal 1 at Glasgow Airport in an apparent suicide-bombing attempt with the intention of causing an explosion within the terminal. It was one of the busiest days of the year at the airport as it was the start of the school summer holidays. The vehicle ignited at the roadside and there was a partial detonation. There were two persons in the Jeep. Abdulla was the front seat passenger. The driver was Kafeel Ahmed. He remained in the vehicle whilst it was engulfed in flames and was dragged from the driver's seat, badly burned. He was taken by ambulance to the Royal Alexandra Hospital where he died from his injuries on 2 August 2007.

On 30 June 2007 Sabeel Ahmed became aware of a document which his brother had composed on his computer and saved to his website. Just before setting off for Glasgow Airport at the wheel of the jeep, Kafeel sent his brother a text telling him to access that document which clearly anticipated his own death. He instructed Sabeel to keep up a pretence that Kafeel was in Iceland doing research, in the event that his body was unrecognisable. Sabeel kept up this pretence for the rest of the day and after police had arrested him that evening.

On 1 July, police officers and members of the Explosives Ordnance Department attended 6 Neuk Crescent, Paisley, a house that Abdullah and Kafeel Ahmed were renting at the time. On first entering the living room of the house they found mobile phones with wires, matches with heads cut off, a battery and syringe, soldering irons, wire cutters and assorted tools were seen strewn all over the floor. The search continued over several days until 16 July during which a large number of exhibits were seized from the house and garage. Relevant CCTV footage of the defendants was also recovered in the days of and preceding both incidents.

Six suspects were initially arrested in the UK and 1 in Australia. The 3 defendants were arrested on 30 June 2007, the date of the Glasgow Airport attack. At the time of their arrests Abdullah was a doctor working at Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Scotland, Asha was a doctor working at Shrewsbury Hospital and Ahmed was working at The Wirral Hospital.

Abdullah and Asha were charged with one count each of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions of a kind likely to endanger life contrary to section 3(1)(a) Explosive Substances Act 1883. Ahmed was charged with one count of failing to disclose information which may be of material assistance in preventing the commission of acts of terrorism contrary to section 38B(1)(b) & (2) of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Following a trial Abdullah was convicted on both counts and Asha was acquitted on both counts. On 17 December 2008 Abdullah was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 32 years. Sabeel Ahmed pleaded guilty on 11 April 2008 to failing to disclose information relating to an act of terrorism, and was sentenced to a total of 18 months imprisonment. The practical effect was that, as an Indian national, he was released into the custody of the immigration authorities pending his return to India.

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Martyn Gilleard

On 31st October 2007 police executed a search warrant at the defendant's address.

Upon entering the premises the police found 39,000 indecent images of children, a quantity of far right documentation, bomb making recipes, 34 .22 rifle cartridges, a large quantity of knives and swords and four improvised explosive devices (home made nail bombs).

Upon being interviewed, Gilleard admitted to possession of the far right documentation and the bomb making recipes. He further admitted that he had made the bombs but said he had never intended to commit acts of terrorism.

In addition to being charged with possession of ammunition without a licence contrary to s.1 of the Firearms Act and 10 specimen charges of possession of indecent images of children, Gilleard was charged with committing an act preparatory to an act of terrorism (making the IEDs) contrary to s.5 of the Terrorism Act 2006, an alternative charge of possession of articles for the purposes of terrorism (the IEDs and bomb making recipes) contrary to s.57 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and collecting information likely to be useful to a terrorist (the bomb making recipes) contrary to s.58 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

He pleaded guilty to the Firearms Act offence and the 10 indecent image offences but pleaded not guilty to the other offences. He was convicted after trial in June 2008 of the s.5 Terrorism Act 2006 offence and the s.58 Terrorism Act 2000 offence. He was sentenced as follows:

  1. S.5 Terrorism Act 2006 offence - 11 years' imprisonment
  2. S.58 Terrorism Act 2000 offence - seven years' imprisonment concurrent
  3. Firearms Act offence - two years' imprisonment concurrent
  4. Indecent image offences - extended sentence of 12 months' imprisonment concurrent on each of the 10 counts.
  5. Extension of four years' imprisonment consecutive to the 11 years' imprisonment, under the extended sentence and dangerous offenders provisions in s.227 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
  6. To sign the Sex Offenders' Register for 10 years.

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Martin Topping

On 22nd February 2007 police executed a search warrant under the Explosives Act on Topping's address. Recovered in the search were numerous fireworks which had been taken apart, parts of the firework were missing and the chemical compounds were spilling out. Also seized were hydrogen valves and hoses, assortment of nails, metallic powder in a film canister, a bottle of ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, sodium chloride, chlorate weed killer, box of firelighters, caustic soda bottle, tub of Vaseline, mothballs, a solder pack, bars of soap, bicarbonate of soda, chlorine tablets and a gas burner.

In interview Topping denied any extremist ideas but said he has an interest in fireworks and wished to make bigger and better fireworks than can be bought commercially.

Topping's computer was also examined and various materials of concern were found on the hard drive, including a folder entitled "Anarchy 'n' Explosives", a document entitled "The Poor Man's James Bond" which detailed instructions on how to make basic fireworks. Topping had also used the Google search engine to search for revolutionaries and serial killers including Charles Manson and had taken a number of pictures of himself resembling Charles Manson.

During the search of his address a number of photos relating to illegal drugs were also found, as well as newspaper cuttings relating to the DVLA mail alert and a floppy disc containing a series of notes on suicide and assassination relating to Hassan-i-Sabah who was born in 1056 and led an Islamic mystery cult of assassins. The internet reveals his to be the first organised group to rely on hashish dealing and also compares him to bin Laden. The disc also included advice on techniques of killing including with explosives, but it specifically advises against using home made ones. It details Muslim beliefs and mentions suicide attacks.

Topping was charged with four counts of possessing and making explosive substances not for a lawful object contrary to s.4 of the Explosive Substances Act 1883. He pleaded guilty to all four counts and was sentenced to 30 months' imprisonment in December 2008. In February 2009 he was granted leave to appeal his sentence and the Court of Appeal reduced his sentence to 52 weeks' imprisonment suspended for 12 months with a 100 hour unpaid work requirement.

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