The Counter-Terrorism Division of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) - cases concluded in 2011
Included in the list below is a brief summary of the cases which have been concluded in 2011. 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.
Akmol HUSSAIN, Azad HUSSAIN, Azad HUSSAIN, Simon ALAM, Sheikh RASHID and Badruzzah UDDIN
Gary Smith is the Head of Religious Studies at an all girls' school in London. He taught religious studies in accordance with the National Curriculum. Both the subject and his classes were extremely popular with the students, the majority of whom had Bangladeshi background.
Recordings of conversations that took place in Akmol Hussain's car proved that in the summer of 2010 Mr Smith was targeted by the defendants because they had strong religious beliefs and did not like a non-believer teaching Islam.
On two occasions, some of the defendants followed Mr Smith with the intention of beating him up. On the third occasion, on 12 July 2010, the first four defendants were successful. They followed Mr Smith as he walked to work and assaulted him. All except one were armed with weapons; they used scarves and gloves to conceal their identity and avoid detection. Mr Smith suffered injuries all over his body, including a fractured skull and a deep incision, 10 cm in length, to his cheek.
After the assault, the defendants drove away and were heard on the recordings from the car boasting about their behaviour. The defendants subsequently passed various pieces of bloodstained clothing to the fifth defendant, Badruzzah Uddin, who hid them in the garage where he worked as a mechanic.
The first four defendants were charged jointly with causing grievous bodily harm to Gary Smith with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm, contrary to section 18 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861. The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment, and this charge reflected the gravity of the injuries sustained by Mr. Smith and the gravity of the offending. Badruzzah Uddin was charged with assisting an offender, contrary to section 4(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1967.
In January 2011, all five defendants pleaded guilty. On the 26 May 2011, His Honour Judge Hand QC, sitting at Snaresbrook Crown Court, concluded that the assault was of the most serious kind and religious motivation was predominant. He took all these features into account together with their guilty pleas when he passed sentence. He sentenced Akmol HUSSAIN to 10 years' Indeterminate Imprisonment for Public Protection (see note below); Azad HUSSEIN to 10 years' Indeterminate Imprisonment for Public Protection; Simon ALAM to 10 years with an extended licence period of 5 years and Sheikh RASHID to 8 years with an extended licence period of years for assault of Gary Smith. His Honour Judge Hand also sentenced Badruzzah Uddin to 2 years for assisting the other defendants. Simon Alam and Badruzzah Uddin are not UK nationals and can be automatically deported once they have served their sentences.
NOTE: 'Indeterminate Imprisonment for Public Protection' means that the person will only be released when the Parole Board says it is safe to do so. Release is never automatic. The Court will set a minimum term that will be served in full before the Parole Board can consider whether it is safe to release the offender. The minimum term should be the period that would have been served in custody if a determinate sentence had been imposed according to the seriousness of the offence.
Mr Karim, who was a graduate of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, settled in the United Kingdom in December 2006 with his son and wife, both of whom are British. Once in the United Kingdom, Mr Karim made a number of applications for work. One of these was to British Airways. He began working at the company's offices in Newcastle in September 2007 as a graduate IT specialist. He was in the process of applying for British citizenship.
Evidence at the trial covered Mr Karim's activities throughout the period of January 2007 up to his arrest in February 2010. During this period he was in regular communication with his younger brother, Tehzeeb, who was in Bangladesh, Pakistan and latterly Yemen.
Rajib Karim had saved a large number of the messages on an encrypted external computer hard-drive. It took many months of painstaking forensic computer analysis and code-breaking to enable the full picture of his conduct and intentions to emerge from reading these messages.
In late 2009, when Tehzeeb Karim went to Yemen, he contacted the radical Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and put that man in contact with his older brother. Anwar al-Awlaki recorded an audio message and sent it to Tehzeeb Karim (who forwarded it to his brother in the UK) in order to reassure them that he was genuine. Anwar al-Awlaki was keen to discover more about Rajib Karim's employment, as Tehzeeb had told him that his brother worked in the airline industry. Tehzeeb sent Awlaki's messages to his brother. Awlaki asked him to clarify in what part of the airline industry he worked. He explained to them that his priority was to attack the USA but that the UK was also a target. Rajib Karim responded, detailing his work and suggesting how he thought he might be able to help Awlaki achieve his goals. He explained that he may be able to disrupt British Airways' servers from within or, if he had help from others, permanently cripple them with a physical attack. He mentioned two men whom he hoped might help; one was a baggage handler and the other a security guard. He also suggested as an opportunity the fact that British Airways were recruiting ground staff as temporary cabin crew due to industrial action; referring to this, he told Awlaki that he may be able to help get a "package" onto a plane bound for the USA.
On 28 February 2011, Rajib Karim was found guilty of four offences of preparation of terrorist acts, contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006. He had earlier pleaded guilty to three other offences, contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006, concerning sending money to help mujahideen in Pakistan/Afghanistan, volunteering for insurgent operations abroad or assisting others to take part in such activities, and of making a video in support of an organisation called Jamat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (support and membership of which are now proscribed by law in this country). He had also pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing in November 2010 to an offence of fund-raising for terrorist purposes, contrary to Section 15 of the Terrorism Act 2000, and possession of a computer file containing instructions for making improvised explosive devices, contrary to Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
In total, Mr Karim was sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment. Upon his release from that sentence his licence will be extended by five years. The judge made a recommendation that he be deported.
Karim appealed against the length of his sentence. The Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal and upheld the original sentence.
Sylvie Odile Michele BEGHAL
This case concerned Sylvie Behgal's behaviour at East Midlands Airport on the evening of 4 January 2011, when she landed on a flight from Paris and was stopped by officers who introduced themselves and informed her they wished to conduct an examination under Schedule 7, Terrorism Act 2000 in order to ascertain whether she may be involved in terrorist activities. She was uncooperative through out the process and refused to answer questions without the presence of a solicitor. She was allowed to speak with a solicitor on the telephone.
As a result of her failure to comply with her duties under the Act she was charged with three offences: assaulting a constable contrary to section 89 Police Act 1996; wilfully obstructing a search and wilfully failing to comply with a duty under Schedule 7, Terrorism Act 2000.
She pleaded not guilty and there then followed an argument that the prosecution was an abuse of process and should be stayed. The key issues raised by the defence were: privilege against self incrimination, access to a lawyer, right to privacy and family life and free movement under EU legislation.
The District Judge rejected the defence application to stay the proceedings as an abuse of process. On the morning of trial Sylvie Beghal pleaded guilty to wilfully failing to comply with a duty under Schedule 7 Terrorism Act 2000, which related to her failure to answer questions and was sentenced to a conditional discharge for 12 months and costs of £100.
Philip Burgess pleaded guilty to three charges of inciting racial hatred contrary to section 19 Public Order Act 1986 and one of encouraging riot contrary to sections 44 and 58 Serious Crime Act 2007, all of which arose from posts on the social networking site, Facebook. During the riots which occurred across the country in August 2011, Burgess posted various comments on his Facebook profile which encouraged others to participate in the riots. One of his posts suggested rioting in King Street, Manchester, which is exactly where serious disorder occurred later that same day. Burgess also posted offensive racist comments, one of which suggested "bring in the kkk", which resulted in further charges of inciting racial hatred. Burgess was sentenced to a total of three years' imprisonment for these four offences.
During the nationwide riots in August 2011, Martin Hartshorn posted comments on the social networking site, Facebook, which encouraged rioting in the Grimsby area, although no rioting actually occurred in Grimsby. Mr Hartshorn made a further post on Facebook which was racially offensive and encouraged others to riot by burning what he referred to as 'paki shops' and takeaways, as well as the local Islamic centre. Mr Hartshorn was charged with one offence of encouraging riot contrary to sections 44 and 58 Serious Crime Act 2007 and one offence of inciting racial hatred contrary to section19 Public Order Act 1986. He pleaded guilty to both charges and was sentenced to a total of three years' imprisonment.
Munir FAROOQI, Matthew NEWTON, Harris FAROOQI and Israr MALIK
Munir Farooqi and his son Harris Farooqi, together with Matthew Newton and Israr Malik, were prosecuted for offences of preparation for acts of terrorism, contrary to section 5 Terrorism Act 2006, dissemination of terrorist material, contrary to section 2 Terrorism Act 2006, and soliciting murder, contrary to section 4 Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
In summary, the four defendants were alleged to have operated a Daw'ah (or 'faith') stall in Manchester in an attempt to target vulnerable members of the community, ostensibly to convert them to Islam but also to radicalise them, and ultimately to encourage and persuade them to perform violent jihad abroad. Undercover police officers, referred to in court as 'Ray' and 'Simon', were deployed to adopt the persona of vulnerable people in order to engage with the defendants. Many of their conversations were then covertly recorded. Munir Farooqi was heard discussing his own jihad experience, persuading and encouraging the undercover officers to take part in jihad abroad. As part of the radicalisation process, the defendants provided the undercover officers with increasingly extreme literature and lectures, some of which were by the radical preacher Anwar Al-Awlaki.
The trial commenced on 16 May 2011 at Manchester Crown Court. On 8 and 9 September 2011, Munir Farooqi, Matthew Newton and Israr Malik were convicted of all counts alleged against them. Harris Farooqi was acquitted of the one count he faced. Munir Farooqi received four life sentences, to serve a minimum term of nine years. Matthew Newton was sentenced to a total of six years imprisonment, and Israr Malik received an indeterminate sentence for public protection with a five year minimum term.
Mr Cowen was arrested on 7 December 2009 at his home in Newcastle. His arrest followed a controlled delivery of two packages of CDs containing lyrics and artwork intended to stir up racial hatred. During the subsequent search of his home, the police seized various computer and data storage devices. When examined they were found to contain around 17,000 indecent still and video images of children.
Mr Cowen was charged with two offences of possessing threatening, abusive or insulting material, likely to stir up racial hatred with a view to distributing it, contrary to section 23 Public Order Act 1986. He pleaded guilty to those offences.
Mr Cowen was separately charged with 17 offences related to the indecent images; 13 of making an indecent image of a child contrary to section 1(1)(a) Protection of Children Act 1978); four of possessing indecent images of children contrary section 160(1) Criminal Justice Act 1988. He pleaded guilty to those offences.
Upon receipt of evidence from the USA, Mr Cowen was also charged with 11 offences of distributing indecent images of children contrary to section 1(1)(b) Protection of Children Act. He pleaded guilty to those offences.
On 18 October 2011 he was sentenced to a total of four years imprisonment.
In May 2010 a British student, Roshanara Choudhry, stabbed her local MP, Stephen Timms, during a constituency meeting. Her explanation to the police in interview was that she had become convinced that this was her obligation after watching videos of radical preachers, because Mr Timms had voted in favour of the war in Iraq.
On 4 November 2010 Ms Choudhry was sentenced to life imprisonment for attempted murder. That same day Bilal Ahmad, a computer graduate from Nottingham, published an article on a well known extremist website based in the U.S. praising Ms Choudhry as a heroine. In this article he provided religious justification for her actions, produced a list of all of the MPs who had also voted in favour of the war in Iraq, provided instructions on how to make appointments with them and provided a link to a supermarket website which sold knives.
When the police arrested Mr Ahmad they found evidence of a considerable volume of other online activity on his laptop. These included threatening comments about Hindus posted in March 2009 on an online forum in response to a newspaper article about Muslim girls being targeted for wearing the veil to college. He was also found to have collected electronic copies of a number of terrorist publications.
On 29 June 2011, Mr. Ahmad was sentenced for soliciting murder, contrary to section 4 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861, stirring up religious hatred, contrary to section 29C Public Order Act 1986 (as amended by The Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006) and three offences of collecting material likely to be of use to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism, contrary to section 58(1)(a) Terrorism Act 2000. He received a custodial sentence of 12 years.
Between 2003 and 2008 Terence Brown ran the website www.anarchist-cookbook.com, through which he sold an annually-produced CD-ROM. Each edition contained several hundred electronic files which Mr Brown had researched and downloaded from the internet. All of the files consisted of instructions and, while some were designed to be used in 'pranks', the majority consisted of instructions on how to make explosives and poisons, how to construct bombs and manuals relating to military training and weapons handling. The length of each file varied from being a single page to a complete publication, several of which bore titles that made it apparent they were intended for use by terrorists, such as 'The Al-Qaeda Training Manual' and 'The Terrorist Encyclopaedia'.
In July 2005, following the first terrorist attacks on London, Mr Brown spent several hours researching and downloading new instructions on the internet. He changed the website, announcing that the material he was selling was about to be banned under new legislation as terrorist training material and stated that as a result he was releasing a new, 2-disc Limited Edition of his publication. The sales of the discs increased substantially as a result of this.
Between 2003 and 2008, Mr Brown sold 2,186 copies of his discs to customers paying by credit card and received approximately $113,000 in payment. It is not known how many discs were sold for cash.
In March 2011, Brown was convicted of seven offences of collecting information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, contrary to section 58(1)(a) Terrorism Act 2000, two offences of disseminating terrorist publications, contrary to section 2 Terrorism Act 2006 and one offence of transferring criminal property (money laundering), contrary to section 327 (1)(d) Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. He was sentenced to a total of 3 years imprisonment.