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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.

The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

Ryan Counsell convicted of four counts of terrorism


A 28-year-old man from Nottingham who planned to travel to the Philippines to fight with a banned terrorist group has been convicted today.

A jury at Woolwich Crown Court found Ryan Counsell guilty of preparation of acts of terrorism and possession of a document used in preparing an act of terrorism.

The trial heard how Counsell planned to join and fight with Abu Sayyaf, a proscribed terrorist organisation which has pledged allegiance to Daesh (so-called Islamic State).

Sue Hemming, Head of CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said:

"Ryan Counsell meticulously planned his attempt to join a terrorist organisation which is responsible for atrocities across the Philippines and has pledged allegiance to Daesh.

"He attempted to conceal his plan but prosecutors were able to successfully demonstrate his true intent to the jury."

Counsell had booked flights and accommodation in the Philippines, also booking a return leg in attempt to convince investigators that he was going on holiday.

He was also in possession of documents related to Daesh which contained bomb making instructions and guides to operating as a terrorist in the West.


Notes to Editors

  1. Conviction details:
    • Three counts of possession of a document containing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism
    • One count of engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts.
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