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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.

Crimes involving young people

Young people as victims and witnesses

Being a victim or a witness to a crime is not easy, but we work hard to bring offenders to justice. Throughout the justice process we will support young victims and witnesses and treat them with dignity.

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Youth crime

The Crown Prosecution Service acts in partnership with other agencies such as the police, the youth justice board, children's services, courts and youth offending teams. Each area of the CPS has a youth justice specialist who oversees the prosecution of youth crime in their area.

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Four students and a schoolboy sentenced for possessing articles for terrorism


The Crown Prosecution Service has warned about collecting and possessing terrorist information which might encourage acts of terrorism following the sentencing of four students and a schoolboy who denied having extremist views.

Susan Hemming, head of the CPS Counter Terrorism Division said: "Protest and argument are lawful; but planning to kill or encouraging others to commit acts of terrorism is against the law and people who collect and possess extremist information or material which advocates others into action may well find themselves being prosecuted.

"This was not just a case of adolescent fantasy or young men messing around and talking big to impress their friends. These students collected a large quantity of extremist information on their computers, information which was designed to encourage themselves or others to take the path of martyrdom and violence towards innocent people.

"Their defence was that they only had the information for research and did not possess extremist views, that the material from various internet sites was not intended to encourage terrorism or martyrdom. The jury has clearly rejected this argument and found them guilty.

"These are the first convictions of their kind under Section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which relates to possessing articles for terrorist purposes. This case was not about possessing detonators or fertiliser to make bombs, but about possessing material which promoted the ideology that said acts of terrorism were justified.

"This was a serious allegation and people of all ages should be in no doubt that if the evidence is there, we will prosecute such cases."

The evidence was uncovered after London sixth former Muhammed Irfan Raja ran away from home leaving a note saying he was going to fight abroad. His parents contacted the police and when his computer was examined, the material was found and led police to his co-defendants: Aitzaz Zafar, Usman Ahmed Malik, Awaab Iqbal and Akber Mohammed Butt.

  1. All five were charged with offences of possessing articles for terrorist purposes under Sec 57 (1) of the Terrorism Act 2000 on dates between 24 December 2005 and 3 March 2006. The articles included CDs, a computer hard drive, documents and a USB drive.
  2. The defendants were sentenced as follows:

    • Muhammed Irfan Raja - two years
    • Akber Mohammed Butt - 27 months
    • Aitzaz Zafar, Usman Ahmed Malik, Awaab Iqbal - three years
  4. For further information contact CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8180.