Briton sentenced to life in prison for drug smuggling

March 18, 2014

 

Khadija Shah, a 26-year-old British woman of Pakistani descent, was sentenced to life in prison in Pakistan on Tuesday after being convicted of trying to smuggle 63 kilograms of heroin out of the country. According to reports, Shah was arrested at the Islamabad airport in May 2012 after the heroin was discovered in several suitcases in her possession. She has claimed that she was carrying the cases for someone else and was unaware of their contents. Her lawyer, Shahzad Akbar, said they would appeal the conviction — given by the Special Narcotics Court in Rawalpindi — next week.

Maya Foa, the director of legal charity Reprieve’s Death Penalty team, said the conviction was “a terrible outcome” for Shah and her baby girl, who was born in prison; Shah was six-months pregnant at the time she was arrested. Foa urged the British government to “ensure that Khadija gets the urgent assistance she needs to appeal her sentence so that her baby doesn’t grow up behind bars.” A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said they were aware of the case and providing Shah and her family with “consular assistance.”

 

Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/684256/british-pakistani-woman-given-life-sentence-for-drug-smuggling/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=%2AAfPak%20Daily%20Brief&utm_campaign=South%20Asia%20Daily%20Brief%203-19-14

Lee Rigby murderers sentenced to life in prison

February 26, 2014

 

The two religious fanatics who murdered Lee Rigby screamed a final act of defiance in court on Wednesday as they fought with guards and were dragged from the dock prior to receiving a whole-life and life sentence respectively for their killing of the 25-year-old soldier. In dramatic scenes Michael Adebolajo shouted “Allahu Akbar” meaning “God is the Greatest” before being told he would die behind bars while Michael Adebowale joined the outburst, saying that “Britain and America would never be safe”. The pair were restrained and wrestled to the ground before being taken down to the cells. Their cries had been retaliation to the judge’s conclusion that their barbaric act had been a “betrayal of Islam”.

The judge said the 29-year-old Adebolajo had “no prospect of rehabilitation” as he handed him the ultimate sentence available. 22-year-old Adebowale’s defence team said a whole-life sentence would have been “inhuman” and he was given a life sentence to serve a minimum of 45 years – saved from a whole-life tariff because of his age.

Former Conservative MP Louise Mensch made a PR error in the wake of the sentencing of Lee Rigby’s killers. Mensch tweeted: “One of the aims of #LeeRigby’s murderers was to stir up religious hatred and we must not allow them to succeed in their aim. #Islam #Peace” and trying to convince her followers she was in touch with British Muslims she tweeted:

“When I think of British Muslims I think of @Mo_Farah @SayeedaWarsi @RaheemJKassam @SunnyHundal @YasminQureshiMP &c not these fools #LeeRigby”

However Sunny Hundal was born to Sikh parents of Indian origin and despite having a beard, is not Muslim. He tweeted back at her “Erm, I’m not Muslim Louise. Parents are Sikh”. After Twitter users criticised her for her mistake, Mensch argued: “I’ve thought he was Muslim for ages. Based on his politics, tweets.” However this spawned the hashtag #tweetlikeamuslim with users tweeting things like “Crikey that’s a nice minaret”, whilst others tweeted “I’m not Muslim Louise.”

Sunny Hundal told The Independent that he is not a Muslim and that he plans to tweet like a Sikh from now on.

 

The Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/10662836/Lee-Rigby-murderers-sentenced-to-life-in-prison.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/10663351/Lee-Rigby-his-killers.html

The Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/feb/26/lee-rigby-killers-michael-adebolajo-adebowale-whole-life-ruling

The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/lee-rigby-murder-michael-adebolajo-and-michael-adebowale-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-9155196.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/louise-mensch-thinks-the-real-face-of-british-islam-is-a-man-of-sikh-heritage-9156788.html

Killer Marine told he ‘increased risk of revenge attacks’ and sentenced to minimum 10 years

December 6, 2013

 

A Royal Marine who murdered a badly wounded Taliban insurgent must serve at least 10 years in prison for a cold blooded killing that tarnished the reputation of the Armed Forces, a judge has said. Sgt Alexander Blackman was dismissed in disgrace and told his crime had betrayed the Marines and potentially increased the risk of revenge attacks on British troops.

Blackman was given a life sentence at court martial for the battlefield execution of a badly wounded Taliban fighter during a patrol in Helmand province in September 2011. Jeff Blackett, Judge Advocate General, said Blackman’s behaviour during the murder, inadvertently captured on helmet camera, had been “chilling”. The video showed Blackman shoot the insurgent in the chest, telling him to “shuffle off this mortal coil, you c***. It’s nothing you wouldn’t do to us.” He then told the rest of his patrol to keep quiet because he had broken the Geneva Convention.

The judge said: “You treated that Afghan man with contempt and murdered him in cold blood.” “By doing so you have betrayed your Corps and all British service personnel who have served in Afghanistan and you have tarnished their reputation.” He continued: “Your actions have put at risk the lives of other British service personnel. You have provided ammunition to the terrorists whose propaganda portrays the British presence in Afghanistan as part of a war on Islam in which civilians are arbitrarily killed.

Judge Blackett said the seven-strong military board, which included three Royal Marine officers, had taken 15 years as the starting point for deliberations on Blackman’s minimum sentence. They had reduced the term because of his record, the strains he was under and the provocation of brutal fighting against the Taliban.

The case is unprecedented in modern times, with no other serviceman having been convicted of murder on a foreign battlefield since at least the Second World War.

A consultant psychiatrist report concluded Blackman had suffered fatigue, poor sleep, grief from the recent death of his father and “the feeling, though unspoken, of paranoia that he was there to be shot at every time he went out.”

Col Richard Kemp, a former commander of British troops in Afghanistan, said he was surprised by the severity of the sentence. A minimum sentence of 10 years is comparable with what some murderers received in Britain and Blackman could not be seen as a common criminal.

Lord West, a former First Sea Lord, said he had concerns about the decision to name Blackman and felt it had put his family at risk from domestic terrorists.

 

The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/10500133/Killer-Marine-told-he-increased-risk-of-revenge-attacks-and-sentenced-to-minimum-10-years.html

Supreme Court says Arkansas prison inmate can grow beard to meet religious beliefs, for now

November 14, 2013

 

The Supreme Court says an Arkansas prison inmate must be allowed to grow a short beard in accordance with his religious beliefs, at least temporarily.

The justices said in a brief order Thursday that state corrections officials may not enforce their grooming policy prohibiting beards against Gregory Holt, who says his Muslim beliefs require him to grow a beard.

Holt filed a handwritten plea to the court asking that he be allowed to grow and keep a half-inch beard, at least until the justices decide whether to take up his full appeal.

The 38-year-old Holt is serving a life sentence for domestic violence and burglary. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette said in 2012 that prosecutors said Holt cut his girlfriend’s throat and stabbed her in the chest at her mobile home.

 

Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-says-arkansas-prison-inmate-can-grow-beard-to-meet-religious-beliefs-for-now/2013/11/14/e0e8146c-4d79-11e3-97f6-ed8e3053083b_story.html

Student gets 40 years for terror campaign against Muslims

October 25, 2013

A white supremacist terrorist who stabbed a grandfather to death and bombed mosques in an effort to trigger a racial war on Britain’s streets has been jailed for life. Ukrainian student Pavlo Lapshyn, 25, was told he would not even be considered for release until his minimum tariff of 40 years was served. The judge did not impose a whole-life sentence, which the prosecution had requested.

Lapshyn’s campaign began in April 2013, just five days after his arrival from Ukraine, where he had won a prize to gain work experience in Britain. Lapshyn found Mohammed Saleem, 82, going home after praying at his local mosque. The student approached him from behind and plunged a hunting knife into him three times with such force that one wound went through to his front. After Saleem’s murder, Lapshyn started placing homemade explosives outside mosques on Fridays, the main day of Muslim prayer.

The device he planted in July, which had 100 nails wrapped around it to maximise the carnage, was aimed at worshippers at the Tipton mosque, where 300 were people were expected to attend prayers. Prayers that particular Friday were held an hour later, thus avoiding mass casualties. The device was so powerful it left nails embedded in tree trunks, police said.

Devices had also been placed outside mosques in Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, the head of the West Midlands police counter-terrorism unit, said Lapshyn had shown no remorse or regret and describing the 40-year term as extremely lengthy.

The Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/oct/25/ukranian-white-supremacist-murder-mosque-bombs-pavlo-lapshyn

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/oct/25/student-40-years-terror-campaign-muslims

Quebecois Muslim activist charged under terrorism laws

News Agencies – July 13, 2012

 

A Quebec activist who fought the stereotyping of Muslims was charged with supporting terrorism after an RCMP investigation linked her to an alleged scheme to smuggle weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Mouna Diab, 26, was charged with committing a crime “for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group,” the RCMP said in a statement. She faces a possible life sentence if convicted.

The Laval woman was arrested at Montreal’s Trudeau airport last year and accused of violating an international arms embargo targeting Lebanon, but police added the far more serious terrorism charge. While Canadian police have laid dozens of charges under the anti-terrorism laws enacted after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Ms. Diab is the first woman to face charges related to a foreign terrorist organization.

Supreme Court Court Rejects Willy-Nilly GPS Tracking

The Supreme Court said Monday that law enforcement authorities might need a probable-cause warrant from a judge to affix a GPS device to a vehicle and monitor its every move — but the justices did not say that a warrant was needed in all cases.

The convoluted decision in what is arguably the biggest Fourth Amendment case in the computer age, rejected the Obama administration’s position that attaching a GPS device to a vehicle was not a search. The government had told the high court that it could even affix GPS devices on the vehicles of all members of the Supreme Court, without a warrant.

“We hold that the government’s installation of a GPS device on a target’s vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a ‘search,’” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the five-justice majority. The majority declined to say whether that search was unreasonable and required a warrant.

All nine justices, however, agreed to toss out the life sentence of a District of Columbia drug dealer who was the subject of a warrantless, 28-day surveillance via GPS.

Md. teen charged in ‘Jihad Jane’ terror plot pleads not guilty at first public court hearing

PHILADELPHIA — A high school honors student pleaded not guilty Monday to charges he helped the American terrorist dubbed “Jihad Jane” raise money and recruits for a Muslim holy war.

Mohammad Hassan Khalid, 18, of Ellicott City, Md., a Baltimore suburb, entered the plea at his first public court appearance since his July 6 arrest.

Federal prosecutors allege that Khalid tried to recruit men to wage a holy war in Europe and South Asia, and women with passports who could travel there. He had met a middle-aged Pennsylvania woman, Colleen LaRose, in online chat rooms when he was about 15, according to last week’s indictment. LaRose was being watched by the FBI after posting YouTube videos in which she dubbed herself “Jihad Jane” and vowed to kill or die for the jihadist cause.

LaRose, 46, has pleaded guilty to plotting to kill a Swedish artist who had offended Muslims, and faces a possible life sentence. Khalid’s lawyer, Jeffrey M. Lindy, believes she helped the FBI build its case against the teenager.

Alberta, Canada man arrested for involvement with Al Qaeda

RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) officers arrested a 38-year-old Alberta man for his alleged role in the multinational terrorist group that carried out the bombing at Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul, Iraq. Faruq Khalil Muhammad Isa was taken into custody at the request of U.S. authorities.

The arrest followed a joint FBI-RCMP investigation into a “Tunisian foreign-fighter facilitation network” that sent Tunisians to Iraq through Libya to carry out suicide attacks against U.S. and coalition forces. Mr. Muhammad Isa faces a possible life sentence.

Van Gogh Murderer Has No Regrets

According to a letter obtained by newspaper AD, Mohammed Bouyeri has no regrets about his murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh. The murder occurred six years ago in
Amsterdam. Bouyeri is currently serving a life sentence for the killing and reportedly wrote in the letter that he has not regretted his actions, “not one second in all these
years”.