Thursday, July 26, 2007

Britain: 4 Islamic university students and a schoolboy who planned to fight British soldiers and die as martyrs have been sentenced by a court

BBC News:

The judge said they were "intoxicated" by radical Islamist propaganda.

Mohammed Irfan Raja, 19, received two years' youth detention while Aitzaz Zafar, 20, and Awaab Iqbal, 20, received three years' detention.

Usman Ahmed Malik, 21, was sent to prison for three years and Akbar Butt, 20, was given 27 months' detention.

They had all been found guilty of possessing material for terrorist purposes.

According to the prosecution, the group were all planning to go to Pakistan for training before going to fight jihad.

Recorder of London Judge Peter Beaumont said the group had prepared to train in Pakistan and then fight in Afghanistan against its allies, which included British soldiers.

He said the defendants were born in Britain and enjoyed freedom of speech and worship.

The judge said: "You were intoxicated by the extremist nature of the material each one of you collected - the songs, images and the language of violent jihad.

"And so carried away by that material were you that each of you crossed the line.

"That is exactly what the people that peddle this material want to achieve and exactly what you did."

He also said the sentences had to be a deterrent "to stop them and you and, to protect this country and its citizens abroad, a message has to be sent".

The Bradford University students were arrested after schoolboy Raja, of Ilford, east London, ran away from home in February last year.

The trial at the Old Bailey heard that he left a note for his parents saying he was going to fight abroad and they would meet again in heaven.

Raja had been recruited by the students on the internet - Zafar, of Rochdale, Lancashire, Malik and Iqbal, of Bradford, and Butt, of Southall, west London.

Raja had exchanged radical Islamist propaganda materials with them before going to stay with them.

But he returned home three days later after his parents begged him to come back.

Schoolboy guilty of terrorism offences


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