Lee Rigby killer Michael Adebolajo launches appeal against conviction

January 30, 2014

 

One of the two men found guilty of murdering off-duty British soldier Lee Rigby, has lodged an application to appeal against his conviction, the Judicial Office confirmed today. Adebolajo, 29, from Romford, east London, said during the trial that he was a “soldier of Allah” and that the killing was an act of war. He and his co-defendant Michael Adebowale, 22, from Greenwich, south-east London, are currently awaiting sentencing.

The men were cleared of the attempted murder of a police officer, and had previously admitted possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. Mr Justice Sweeney said he will sentence the pair after a key Court of Appeal ruling on the use of whole-life jail terms. A date for the appeal judgment has not been announced following a recent hearing before a panel of five leading judges, headed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas.

 

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/rigby-killer-michael-adebolajo-launches-appeal-against-conviction-9095667.html

Pa. man gets 8 1/2 years in terrorism promotion case, attack on FBI agents who questioned him

PITTSBURGH — A western Pennsylvania man whom authorities called a “homegrown, radical extremist” was sentenced Tuesday to 8 ½ years in prison for helping lead an Internet forum that promoted terrorist attacks against American military and civilian targets.

The sentence for Emerson Begolly, 24, formerly of Redbank Township, also includes time for having a concealed gun and biting an FBI agent when he was arrested in 2011.

Begolly apologized for his posts and disavowed his stated beliefs, telling the judge his comments were “completely reckless. No good would have come from making such comments.”

“All I want to do is pursue a path of peace and righteousness,” Begolly continued. “I feel I’ve learned my lesson and I feel I don’t want to make jail a revolving door for myself.”

But Assistant U.S Attorney Jimmy Kitchen said Begolly’s willingness to kill or be killed was summed up in a post: “If I have the choice between 12 jurors and six pallbearers, I’ll choose the latter any day.”

And when agents tried to arrest him as he sat in his mother’s car in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant, Begolly bit them and reached for a 9mm pistol hidden in a military field jacket.

All parties agree Begolly is a socially inept, outcast who has struggled with autism and mental health issues since he was a young child. He can’t drive a car, never learned to ride a bike and never had a girlfriend.

Begolly’s sentence was far less than the 15-year term he agreed to when he pleaded guilty nearly two years ago, and which prosecutors still sought in a sentencing memorandum filed last week. He will receive credit for 30 months he’s spent in jail since his arrest, and so will be free in about six years.

Abu Qatada will be a free man in Jordan soon, his family predict

Abu Qatada’s family said on Monday they expected to have him home within days and expressed their hopes court proceedings against the controversial cleric would progress smoothly so he could soon return to normal life. Close friends claimed the decade-long fight to deport Qatada from Britain is unlikely to end in a jail term, and said in their opinion he would almost certainly be cleared by the Jordanian courts.

His was twice convicted in absentia for conspiring to engage in terrorist activities in Jordan, and courts there sentenced him to life imprisonment. The same charges were repeated at the State Security Court on Sunday, where Qatada denied all allegations.  His co-conspirators were sentenced and later pardoned by the king. It is this precedent which makes Abu Hanieh optimistic his friend will be freed.  The exclusion of evidence obtained under torture, the prerequisite for Qatada’s return to Jordan, is another reason. “It’s usual to get evidence by torture here,” said Abu Hanieh, who has been imprisoned many times.

Woolwich attack: racist Facebook posts lead to suspended jail term

A 24-year-old woman who posted racist comments on Facebook after the death of Drummer Lee Rigby has avoided a jail sentence. Michaela Turner, of Southsea, Hampshire, was sentenced at Portsmouth magistrate’s court to an eight-week jail term, suspended for six months. She was ordered to pay £85 in costs and a victim surcharge of £60. The court heard that Turner had been drinking when she made comments about the Woolwich attack on the social networking site. They included: “Feeling like burning down some mosques in Portsmouth, anyone want to join me?” Rebecca Strong, defending, said: “She is extremely remorseful and ashamed of what happened. She was with a friend, they were drinking, they had watched some clips regarding what happened in Woolwich and she was extremely upset, as is most of the country at what happened.” Strong said Turner had stopped using Facebook and deleted the comments. “She fully accepts what she did and is very ashamed of what she said. Turner pleaded guilty to an offence contrary to section 127 of the Communication Act 2003.

French ‘jihadist’ returned to France

Liberation

14.05.2013

Gilles Le Guen, who was arrested at the end of April in Mali, has been returned to France where he was immediately taken into custody by Central Directorate for Interior Intelligence.  The 58-year-old was arrested in the Timbuktu region of Mali by French army units, who have joint the Malian government in combating Salafi groups in the North. The man is suspected of having fought alongside the Salafis for the imposition of a Sharia law ruled state. Le Guen’s arrest made several headlines in France and brought the subject of ‘home-grown terrorism’ back onto the national forefront. The French Government accuses him of having fought in ‘jihadist groups’ and being a ‘fanatic’ and a ‘clueless person who became a terrorist’.

Le Guen is to face several weeks of interrogation by the intelligence unit and a prolonged a jail term.

Hofstad Group Member Released from Dutch Jail

May 11 2013

Convicted Dutch terrorist Jason Walters, who has spent eight years in jail for throwing a hand grenade at police, has been released after serving two-thirds of his sentence. He was arrested in 2004 as one of a group of men said to have formed a terrorist organization known to police as the Hofstad group. Walters was convicted for throwng a hand grenade at police and sentenced to 13 years in jail, a sentence reduced slightly on appeal. He was released early on good behaviour. Walters, who has an American father and Dutch mother, converted to Islam; he has since rejected Islam.

Birmingham terror plot ringleader jailed for minimum of 18 years

Irfan Naseer and co-conspirators planned attacks that could have been more devastating than 7/7 bombings. The ringleader has been jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years. Irfan Naseer, 31, was described by a judge on Friday as the “leader, driving force and man in charge” of the terror cell in Sparkhill, Birmingham, which planned to set off eight to 10 suicide bombs and timed explosive devices in crowded places. The other leaders of the cell, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali, both 28, were handed jail terms of 18 years and 15 years respectively. Khalid, who boasted of creating “another 9/11”, was ordered to serve a minimum of 12 years, while Ali will serve 10 years before he can be considered for parole. Naseer’s plot had the blessing of al-Qaida and was intended to further the terror organisation’s aims. The judge took into account that Khalid, who was under the influence of his “inseparable” friend Naseer, had been found to be in the bottom 2%-5% in terms of cognitive ability. Chemistry graduate Naseer and Khalid, both from Sparkhill, had travelled to Pakistan twice for training – on the second occasion spending two months at an al-Qaida training facility in Miran Shah, north Waziristan, where they had to flee from US drone strikes. The group tried to fund their mission by posing as Muslim Aid charity street collectors in Sparkhill, raising £14,500 within two weeks. The cell’s chief financier, Rahin Ahmed, 26, from Moseley, pleaded guilty to collecting, investing and managing money for terrorism, and assisting others to travel to Pakistan for training in terrorism. He was sentenced to 12 years in jail and will serve at least six before he can be released.

CAIR Welcomes S.C. Jail’s New Policy Allowing Hijab

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/14/13) — The nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today welcomed a decision by a South Carolina jail to allow female inmates to wear religious head coverings, called “hijab.”

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) made the request for a policy change following a complaint from a Muslim woman who was taken into custody on December 31, 2012, and was allegedly told to remove her hijab so she could have her booking photograph taken. The booking officer reportedly disregarded the woman’s religious concerns and “intimidated” her into removing her scarf in the presence of a male officer. The Muslim inmate’s husband was allegedly informed that “all Muslim women take off their scarves” when in custody.

In a letter to CAIR, Ronaldo D. Myers, director of the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Columbia, S.C., wrote:

“As requested, we have reviewed and updated our policies to ensure clarity with our staff on the processing and searching of female detainees of the Muslim faith, and specifically have exempted the wearing of religious headwear from our facility’s ‘Prohibited Acts’ policy.”

“We welcome the detention center’s decision to allow detainees to exercise their constitutionally-protected religious freedom,” said CAIR National Legal Director Nadhira Al-Khalili. “We have recently received reports of denial of religious rights at correctional institutions in other states and are working to achieve similarly positive resolutions in those cases.”

It’s not often a Muslim woman ends up in jail, say King County officials.  But, a few years ago, a woman was forced to remove her headscarf – or Hijab — during her one-night stay in jail. She described it as humiliating, similar to being forced to take off her clothes.

“This is a larger issue of how is our jail balancing peoples’ right to express their religion … even in a correctional environment,” says Jennifer Gist of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group for Muslims.

Jews and Sikhs have come to King County jails requesting they keep their headwear too. While the county jail and court staffs were open to accommodating religious beliefs, they did have some problems to solve.

Hofstad Group Member Granted Prison Leave

16 January 2012

 

A member of the Hofstad group has been granted a supervised leave while serving his eight year jail sentence in the Netherlands. Jason Walters, a convert to Islam with an American father and Dutch mother, was convicted of throwing a hand grenade at police while resisting arrest. Walters has since rejected Islam.

Judge sentences Polish couple for attacking two Headscarved women

16 August 2012

Drunken polish immigrant Beata Jopek and her partner Maciej Matysniak assaulted two Muslim women on a train from Leeds to Sheffield. After verbal attack, the couple pulled at Miss Ibrahim’s hair and the scarf came off.

Judge has given Beata Jopek a three-month jail term suspended for 12 months and 120 hours of unpaid community work and Macieej Matysniak was given a 12-month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work.