Feeds

Students win appeal against cyberjihad convictions

'Thought crime' verdict overturned

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Five British muslim students jailed for downloading extremist material from the internet were released today, after the Appeal Court ruled their convictions were unsafe.

The Lord Chief Justice said that although the evidence was clear that the five had accessed the jihadi websites and literature there was no proof of any terrorist intent, the BBC reports.

"Difficult questions of interpretation have been raised in this case by the attempt by the prosecution to use [anti-terrorism law] for a purpose for which it was not intended," he said.

"We do not consider that it was made plain to the jury [in the original trial]...that they possessed the extremist material for use in the future to incite the commission of terrorist acts. We doubt whether the evidence supported such a case."

Irfan Raja, 20, of Ilford, east London, and Awaab Iqbal, 20, Aitzaz Zafar, 21, Usman Malik, 22, and Akbar Butt, 21, of Bradford, all received sentences of between two and three years in a landmark trial last year.

In a statement today via his solicitor, Malik said: "As I said when I was arrested, I do not, have not and will not support terrorism in any form against innocent people.

"My prosecution was a test case under the 2000 Terrorism Act. Today's decision means no first year student can ever be prosecuted again under this Act for possessing extremist literature."

The original case was sparked when police were contacted by Raja's parents. The schoolboy had run away to Bradford to meet the other students, who he had met online, leaving a note to say he intended to fight abroad.

He returned home within days, but the investigation had already begun.

In the appeal, lawyers for the five successfully argued that the Terrorism Act 2000 is not intended to make reading propaganda a crime, but to stop terrorists planning attacks. They also said the students had no intention of encouraging terrorist acts.

The government has seven days to appeal against today's decision. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.