back to article Jailed terror student 'hid' files in the wrong Windows folder

Careless use of Windows folders cost a Scottish student a lengthy prison stretch today, as an Edinburgh High Court Judge sentenced Mohammed Atif Siddique to eight years for possession of terrorism-related items. During his trial the jury had been told by Michael Dickson, a forensics analyst for the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    uk.gov

    Welcome to Britain. Yes we've left our common sense else where.

    O I can't even be bothered anymore.

    I feel so much safer - thankyou o mighty and intelligent security forces.

  2. Tom Chiverton
    Stop

    Good grounds for appeal, I think

    "Given that you were providing internet access to what are admittedly terrorist publications, it is difficult to see what else was intended other than the encouragement etc of terrorism"

    He wasn't "providing internet access to", and as to "what else was intended" how about comment (as in 'fair use') ?

    Is the judge going to go after Google as well now then ?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Jihadi Muppet

    An unrivalled Jihadi master of deceipt. Putting his files in the windows/options folder. This being the computing equivalent of putting your money in your shoes when you go for a swim at the beach, and I don't mean just IN the shoe, I mean right up near the toes because noone ever looks there!

    Seriously, I can't believe they wasted so many resources on this guy. Obviously another jihadi clown. I'd feel better if they caught someone who was making a dimethylmercury aerosol dispenser. Actually no I wouldn't feel better.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Muppet

    Leaving aside the question of whether he was innocent or guilty, you've got to admit, that looks very suspicious (and bloody stupid).

    Hiding things in the Windows directory /will/ conceal it from casual inspection, obviously he wasn't expecting professionals to inspect it, or else he'd have encrypted them (on a micro-SD card or something he could swallow if the police arrive), but it's also not the sort of place you'd casually save things into, whether your interest was innocent curiosity or something more sinister.

    The website thing... well, to be fair, that was stupid.

    "Siddique did this simply by linking from his web site, Al Battar, to two sites containing instructions on weapons, explosives, terrorism and Jihad"

    Whether or not you're involved, linking directly to sites like that is bound to bring you the wrong sort of attention.

    "along with 25 mobile phones and another 19 SIM cards"

    Unless he's going to claim he was running an eBay shop, that's another very suspicious activity. I'd believe anything up to 5 or 6 for a home user that's tech-supporting a large company, but 25? How many people live there?

    Red-top outrage or not, I don't have a lot of sympathy for the guy. If he is innocent of everything, I'd love to hear the reasons behind his actions...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The mind boggles

    "...Some 34 computers and hard drives were examined. More than 5,000 computer discs and DVDs were removed, along with 25 mobile phones and another 19 SIM cards..."

    All from the one property? Was Siddique operating a mobile phone shop from home? And repairing computers?

    Or were the plod just fishing in neighbours' houses?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Appeal

    Given that the prosecution don't have to disclose all evidence to the defence in Scotland (yes really) this is another appeal waiting to happen.

    The Lockerbie "bomber" (Al-Megrahi) will walk free later this year due to the fucked up Crown Office in Scotland and their habit of "manipulating/forgetting" evidence. It is endemic in the system which is incredibly biased towards the Crown Office.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you will...

    feel the fear....

    That's an order.

    (I think I'll post anonymously)

  8. Cameron Colley
    Black Helicopters

    Racism and religious hatred in the system?

    So, if a white, christian, person where to be found with this material, a vicar for instance, would they have got off?

    I ask because it seems to me that having "an interest in terrorism" isn't an offence in this country, and that linking to websites of questionable individuals to show their tactics and views probably isn't either. So, because of this guy's ethnic background (for want of a better way of putting it) he's suddenly guilty?

    If that's not the case, and anyone with this type of material on their hard-drives of websites, even if they're just for information and in opposition, is breaking the anti-terror laws then I'd better give mine the once over with an eraser -- just in case.

    If you don't see another post from me, I'll be taking a holiday to a helper country at your expense -- courtesy of our great leaders.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    IE phoned home

    As soon as I finished reading the article, Internet Explorer crashed and told me it wanted to report the whole thing back to Microsoft...

    Black helicoptor for one please

  10. Graham
    Unhappy

    Justice my arse

    This man has been sent to jail for being an idiot... which is unfortunate, I really don't think that juastice has been served though.

    If you've followed the trial, most of his behaviours seem to have been concerned with getting attention; maybe very misplaced behaviours and perhaps he needed a quiet slap round the head, but this length of sentence seems a little excessive.

    I guess a subtitle for the trial could have been "Teen sent to jail for 8 years for over-zealous teenage rebellion", or even "Teen jailed for being stupid", given how many other teens could have the same subtitles it's disappointing.

  11. Steve
    Thumb Down

    So now it's a crime

    To own materials which 'might' be of use for terrorist purposes.

    Presumably this would include various 'Janes' publications, historical military texts, books on tactics or strategy particularly for guerilla tactics, most chemistry text books beyond GCSE level, etc...

    What a farce.

  12. Duncan Hothersall

    Hey, no fair!

    I haven't got a c:\windows\options folder. Where am I supposed to store my seditious materials? I have a picture of Bin Laden and a copy of a Jamie Oliver cookbook. I'd better make this an anonymous post...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Busted

    Where am I gonna hide my porn collection now?

  14. Sampler
    Alert

    RE: Muppet

    So he's not that computer literate and figure being the ethnicity he is even having a casual interest in such things he'd better hide them incase someone accused him of being a nutter.

    Also we don't know how his website was worded - he could've been discussing the motives of terrorists (as his defence) and said somehting along the lines of look at the strong viewpoints of these assholes.

    Not saying this is the case but it's quite easy to jump the gun when not in full knowledge of the facts and lets face it one fact would be the cops after spending so much money will have to twist it anyway possible to get some sort of conviction and therefore vindication for spending so much money.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He should have used Truecrypt

    He should have used Truecrypt: http://www.truecrypt.org.

  16. Ferry Boat

    Fairtrade One Cup Filters

    errr.... just wondering, but where would you put your Jihad stuff on a Linux box?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Listen I'm no fan of the War on Terror

    But to the first poster, if you think he's innocent then I suggest, get apss 6 form before subjecting us to your worldly analysis.

    I mean you can do research on Child molestation, but I have yet to here someone put up links to sites, where it can be carried out!!

    He was caught bang to rights. Yes you may not like one of your heroes being caught but occasionally plod do actually get the rights ones.

    Lets hope he didn't encourage some idiot to go set a bomb off on a bus your travelling on..

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    8 years

    I'm not entirely sure what a "year" is, but I think the sentence must be about 24000 futons?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    re: Number of Phones

    Well the family runs a grocers cum newsagents cum off licence in the village so it sounds like plod just took the whole shop with them (which is on the same property as the house)

    wonder how many donuts were missing....

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    C:\dell\docs is my favorate place to save temp files

    Wow, I tend to save downloads, temporary files, restore disc images, and pics from my cell phone in C:\dell\docs.

    Is that suspicious? One of the advantages is anything under my users directory is automatically backed up, so this is where I store temp stuff I don't need backed up.

  21. Tawakalna
    Paris Hilton

    what if he used a Mac, though?

    well, he could have made his chum Osama a nice photobook with pretty colours on shiny paper. I actually can't think of any other uses for a Mac than pretty pictures. Unless it's defeating alien motherships? or was that a Thinkpad? I dunno. They make Paris Hilton look nice, though!

  22. Sceptical Bastard

    @ Ferry Boat

    Quote: "Where would you put your Jihad stuff on a Linux box?"

    Obvious - it goes in /bin/kill

    OK, Rule 8

  23. PT
    Alert

    RTFM

    Clearly, many of the previous posters didn't trouble to read up the background material on this case, even though El Reg thoughtfully provided a starter link to The Scotsman.

  24. Nick

    @AC

    "He should have used Truecrypt: http://www.truecrypt.org."

    It's now an offence in the UK not to hand over your encryption keys to the police so that won't help much.

  25. adnim

    perhaps...

    the man was scared of our draconian anti-terrorist laws, and hid the files from casual view for fear of being busted, rather than actually aiding and abetting terrorists. As is the usual case, the public are given only the information that marks this man as guilty. maybe he is, perhaps he isn't.

    I do not store any files in the "my documents" folder and I have a lot of files that would be very useful to those improvising explosives or plotting the overthrow of a government. It is purely out of curiosity that I have them. I am a pacifist I could not kill or even physically hurt another creature, although humans are lower on the list than most species of animal. Still if the authorities wanted they could construct a case around the files on my system and bust my ass.

    Freedom in this country is now just an illusion.

  26. Iain
    Flame

    Travesty

    This is such a heap of shit. 8 years, and for what prithee? He killed no one, he harmed no one. Drunk drivers get less when they DO kill someone. 8 years for some "terrorist publications". WTF is a terrorist publication, precisely? Just because you know how to build a bomb does not necessarily mean that you will in fact build one! Now, if he'd been found with the materials necessary to construct a bomb there might be a case to answer but the poor bastard only had some files on a bloody computer, and he is Muslim.

    I'm not a Muslim but it's piss like this that makes we want to blow shit up!!!

    Yes, it is true that he MIGHT have been a potential terrorist but every single one of us has the potential to wreak fucking havoc should the mood take us. The potential to be dangerous is a human failing - not a fucking crime!!!

    So, it seems we bang folk up because conceivably they might commit a crime at some point in the future? Aye, that's justice right enough. Welcome to 21st century Britain.

  27. Geoff Mackenzie
    Coat

    Jihad material on a Linux box ...

    /bin/laden - can't believe nobody else has suggested that groaner.

  28. Dick

    Brit slang translation please

    "a grocers cum newsagents cum off licence" is that what used to be called a "knocking shop"?

  29. Dave
    Thumb Up

    @ Nic

    ""He should have used Truecrypt: http://www.truecrypt.org."

    It's now an offence in the UK not to hand over your encryption keys to the police so that won't help much."

    Truecrypt lets you have a hidden volume within your encypted volume which they cannot prove even exists.

    You can put some dodgy porn in here & pretend to the fuzz that was all you had to hide.

  30. Philip
    Jobs Halo

    Who are the real Muppets?

    So the El Reg barrack-room commentards have concluded that he's innocent because he put his beheading videos and Jihadi recruitment material in some obscure Windows folder?

    Do any of you philosophy professors realise that it's 'idiots' like this that wish to kill you and to destroy your way of life?

    I for one am extremely glad that he's in jail - my only regret about this is that the sentence is way too short.

    /I'll get me shalwar kameez

  31. John Lettice (Written by Reg staff)

    Kit investigated

    For those of you who're puzzled by the large quantity of kit the police dealt with - these were as I understand it computers, phones etc which were investigated in association with the investigation. They'd have come from more places than just the one house. Three other people, including two relations, were arrested and then released in April 2006. They'd have owned some of the gear.

    John Lettice

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I hide stuff in inappropriate folders too.

    Porn mostly.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Brit slang translation please

    If it is "cum" you are asking translation for:

    Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This

    cum1 /kʌm, kʊm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kuhm, koom] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation

    —preposition

    with; combined with; along with (usually used in combination): My garage-cum-workshop is well equipped.

    [Origin: 1580—90; < L: with, together with (prep.)]

    Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)

    Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

    And if it's off-licence, it is a shop that sells alcohol for people to drink off the premises.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    'Big Brother' - thought police is gonna get yeah..

    Ok so within 2 days we've had TV-Links shut down for linking to copyright sites, and then some master bin laden criminal bangedup for 8 years for linking to all sorts of dodgy website such as

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anarchist-Cookbook-Peter-M-Bergman/dp/0974458902/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/026-9676694-8802033?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1193165526&sr=8-1

    Whilst I think there is a little more in this case than meest the eye - whats with the mobiles and the SIM cards, I cannot believe how many people are getting 'banged-up' for publishing web links - isn't that the 'raison d'etre' of the whole internet itself - obviously the UK Should now turn off the internet, as we can't be trusted using it.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Dick

    ... well they do sell dairy products.

  36. Barry Rueger

    Hoo hoo! ha Ha!

    from the Scotsman "SPECIAL Branch officer Gary Murray's instructions were clear: if Mohammed Atif Siddique tries to board the flight to Pakistan, stop him. ... Siddique and his uncle, Mohammed Rafik, were booked on a Pakistan International Airways flight from Glasgow Airport, supposedly to visit relatives in Punjab for three months. ... However, intelligence reports suggested that Siddique's purpose for travel was far more sinister, that he would head for Canada to join a terrorist mission. "

    Let me get this right, the mark of a terrorist is that instead of going to friggin' PAKISTAN he is really going to CANADA!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Hmmm....

    @AC - the max penalty for not handing your crypto keys over is 5 years. Sounds less than 8 years to me.... ;-)

    I guess I'd better shred my copy of Sun Tzu's "Art of War" (I'd provide a link but that would clearly be the act of a Terrierist[1])

    Sounds like an act of desperation to me - after spending all that money on forensics and searching and basically finding jack sh*t (excuse me if I'm getting too technical) someone clearly felt that a conviction must be obtained just to avoid claims of mis-spent public funds. Twunts.

    As the Queen said in Blackadder, "We can't go around locking people up just because they are stupid... otherwise Nursey would have been in prison her whole life"

    [1] That's someone fanatical about Terriers, clearly.

  38. J
    Pirate

    Title

    "the My Movies folder (you'll find it right next to My Warez)"

    No, no... right next to My Porn. It seems like you don't have a regular Windows system over there -- did you buy it legally? WGA wants to know.

  39. Barnaby Self
    Thumb Up

    @ Geoff

    "/bin/laden"

    Funniest thing I have heard in a while, hats off to you sir

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    mislaid

    if he'd put it in /tmp they would have never found it...

  41. Kwac

    Old drives

    I have a load of old disk drives (10 MB upwards) stuck in a box - one of them will possibly (probably?) have a copy of 'Anarchists' Cookbook'.

    That's me in the shit then.

  42. adnim

    @Philip

    No, it is people who believe everything they read, trust the government and presume that the powers that be are acting in the best interests of the public who are the "real muppets".

    This man maybe guilty and was actually preparing to facilitate or even participate in a terrorist action, in which case I agree with you the sentence should have been much longer.

    However having said that, I have no trust whatsoever in our government or the mainstream media. This lack of trust is enough for me to suspect as being propaganda just about everything the government and mainstream media spout.

    Is this man guilty of having illegal material on his PC? probably.

    Was he preparing to use this information for a terrorist purpose? Unknown and impossible to prove.

    Basically this man got eight years for possessing information freely available from many sources on line, and providing links to sites which disagree albeit violently with British policy with respect to the middle east.

    Over the past few years laws have been passed in this country which make much in the way of peaceful protest illegal. You, I and every other UK citizen is being put into a box and the lid is being shut. It is only a matter of time before any criticism of the government and it's policies becomes a criminal offence.

  43. Jon Tocker

    A familiar "smell"

    Witch Finders, Inquisitors, Hitler's Gestadt Polizei, McCarthy's House UnAmerican Activities Committee and now Bush's War On Terror that politicians's the World over can't wait to sign up for.

    What the likes of Philip seem to forget is that, although what he did was suspicious, he did not actually carry out an "Act of Terror".

    He did not blow anyone up. He did not kill or directly threaten anyone. There have been not terrorist attacks that could be shown to have used the internet bomb-making pages as a source of information, let alone that the "terrorists" followed the links off his pages to find said instructions.

    Can they even prove that someone visited his website and felt terrified by the links?

    Yet, somehow, possessing the information and making links justifies a heavier sentence than those given to people who have shown little enough regard for human life to drive while drunk and actually have killed people.

    8 years for possessing "seditious material"? Fuck, how much for actually making use of said materials and blowing up a bus?

    If they'd found stockpiles of home-made explosives and suspiciously large amounts of the raw materials to make more, I would be able to understand the severity of the sentence but 8 years for possessing information - even if they can prove conclusively that he is an Al Qaeda sympathiser and hates Westerners with a vengeance - is utter fucking bollocks. It stinks of the frothing hysteria of the witch finders and all the other paranoid misfits that followed them.

    8 years for seditious materials, how much for possessing actual weapons or bombs (or having a few common household chemicals that *could* be made into bombs), how much for actually killing someone?

    From judges who hold human life in such little regard that they give low sentences to drunken wastes-of-oxygen who kill people.

    FFS, more people are killed by careless and/or drunk drivers than are killed by terrorism but the judges are prepared to condone and excuse such carnage - yet not condone the mere possession of "seditious material".

    Great going, guys, Torquemada, Matthew Hopkins, Adolf Hitler, Senator McCarthy and now Bush and Frattini would be rightfully proud of your frothing-at-the-mouth zeal.

    Heil Bush, Heil Frattini et al.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    True Crypt keys must be handed over ??

    Do you have a link ?

    It kind of neuters cryptographic protection.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    one word . . .

    FONTS

    did i say that or think it?

  46. Philip
    Jobs Halo

    @Jon Tocker

    "frothing-at-the-mouth zeal"

    Hmm... anyone looking at your post and mine would be able to see pretty instantly which one of us is exhibiting hydrophobia.

    How do you know what he did or didn't do? That's the problem with barrack room lawyers or, er, "the likes of" you. First up and shouting loudest, with absolutely no evidence or factual commentary on which to base their conspiratorial assertions.

    I'm more than happy to accept that British Justice prevailed with this toe-rag, until I'm informed (with some evidence and the application of intellectual rigour) as to why not.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to hold a rally, then burn some children :sigh:

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The Anarchists cookbook

    Can anyone with an interest in chemistry/physics who had access to the internet before 9/11 honestly say that at some point they *didn't* either look for, get access too, or download the HTML version of that book?

    I can't - I had a copy of it burned to a CD yonks ago. it was good reading, Made some small pipebombs with some mates, blew up an old washing machine in a quarry, then got bored and went back to modifying air rifles.

    So, on that basis, am I part of a group of explosives expert and competent snipers?

    *buddabuddabudda*

    My, that helicopter is hard to see against the night sky...

    I'd love to be on the jury in a case like this, if for no other reason that to actually see if there is any real evidence against these people or if the jury is just full of Daily Star/Mail/Express reading trogladytes who want to see anyone who isn't white and a wishy washy Anglican hung, drawn and quartered. Which given the lack of any real motive or evidence being shown outwith circumstantial stuff in the most of the reports [other than some dodgy videos and iffy interweb links] on cases like this, seems disturbingly likely to be the case to my paranoid depressive brain...

    Regards,

    An anonymous white, wishy washy agnostic scotsman who missed being caught up in the July 7th Russel Square bombing by about seven minutes...

  48. BitTwister

    @Philip

    As Jon commented: 8 years for possessing "seditious material"?

    Isn't this exactly the same sort of thing that various tin-pot dictators (and not so tin-pot) have tried over the years? What worries me most about this sort of farce masquerading as 'justice' is that people like you think it IS justice.

    You say "How do you know what he did or didn't do?" Well, probably about as much as *you* know - yet one post justifiably questions the severe sentence passed for nothing more than a 'documentation crime' (getting dangerously close to 'thought crime', IMO) while other wastes of space are getting away with more serious, non-terrorism related crimes: did you hear *nothing* about that thug who beat up a 96 year-old on a tram, blinding him in one eye? - not even a custodial sentence.

    Meanwhile, the other post simply parrots the "string 'em up!!" mentality our minders (and most of the brain-dead news media) would have us swallow.

    I'm always happy to see people questioning anything done by an authority, and it seriously worries me when they don't.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Nick

    "It's now an offence in the UK not to hand over your encryption keys to the police so that won't help much."

    There is such a thing? No wonder people claim the Act of Union isn't worth the paper it's written on

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows\system32

    Just put your stuff to hide in there - its so full of shite any self respecting forensic expert would just give up anyway.

    The other one is "My Documents" - anyone ACTUALLY use this for documents?

  51. Maty

    terrorist material

    Fortunately the autumn nights are drawing in ... I've just used as fuel on my wood stove my personal collection of bomb-making instructions, details of how to ambush convoys, camoflage, and improvised explosive devices. These are, after all, documents that could have got me arrested for terrorism.

    The organization which supplied me with these deadly items? um ... actually the British army, 20 years ago. Praise the lord (not allah!) that my name and appearance are not middle eastern. I'm slightly worried about my beard though ...

  52. Paul Stimpson
    Coat

    @ Ferry Boat

    > errr.... just wondering, but where would you put your Jihad stuff on a Linux box?

    /usr/share/doc/Windows_Vista

    Who the **** would ever go in there ;)

    Taxi already called...

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Philip

    Philip, might I take a moment to point out that the judge in this case is clearly on record as saying that up until these charges, Mohammed Atif Siddique was of previously good character with no criminal record. Thus we can say with a certain amount of credence (the factual commentary you require) that this young fool has never killed or harmed anyone.

    The problem I have here, is that the terrorist laws applied, are specifically written to allow the arrest, detention and imprisonment of someone who has the potential to commit a terrorist act. My argument is that we all have the potential to commit an act of terror.

    As the law currently stands, Mr Siddique actually recieved a lenient sentence. However, I believe these terrorist laws to be morally wrong: judging people on what it has been proven they MIGHT do, and not what the WILL do.

    I always believed that in a true democracy, Mr Siddique should have the God-given right to believe, preach and advertise his Islamic Caliphate, so long as none are harmed by this belief. As long as this belief is promoted by words alone, who is thus harmed? However, our anti-terror laws make this a crime.

    Where it becomes a travesty is that Mr Siddique was under surveillance and known to the Security Services. It would have been perfectly possible to stop him long before he commited an actual act of terror (say by confiscating his passport?) and when there was sufficient material evidence (bomb making equipment) to convict. To convict on the basis of words, thoughts and beliefs alone, is, quite simply, wrong: there's few alive who haven't felt like murdering someone - so, should we all get 8 years, just for thinking it? That's what's happened here.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    vista?

    If he had used vista they would still be trying to copy his files in 8 years .

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just the stuff on the computer...

    I attend the same college that this guy did.

    It wasn't just the materials found on his computer, he was telling everyone who would listen that he wanted to become a suicide bomber and blow up targets in Glasgow.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wtf??

    Innocent - not bloody ikely. If he had material relating to kiddy porn and links to similar other sites exploiting children the Lynch mob would already be formed and on the way to string him up. He was caught with material directly linked with terrorist acts and material that perpetuated it 8 years not long enough

  57. John A Blackley

    Outside

    Could all of you - those, that is, who are baying about the injustice done to this young man - please try something radical? Could you please try to find a corroborating source to augment the thin stream of piss that passes for news on El Reg?

    The man in question came to the notice of the police because of his habit of boasting - at college in Glasgow - of how he was "going to blow up the city" and his other habit of praising and justifying Muslim suicide bombers. Frankly, I think he's lucky the police got to him before the FoJS (Friends of John Smeaton) did. (And, no, the young man wasn't arrested for what he said so don't go bleating at me about free speech - even if it is speech that ought to get you your head handed to you.)

    Like it or not, the government has to do something in the face of suicide bombing as a poltical statement/symptom of mental illness. What they have chosen to do it to make it at least very, very stupid to keep and disseminate certain materials. To draw attention to yourself in the way this young man did - while being in possession of such materials is so arrogantly, terminally stupid that he's better off in custody.

    And yes, I know he's a Muslim and, no, that doesn't make him blameless/give him social immunity/protect him from the laws of the land he inhabits. It makes him a suspect.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Interesting impact on social sciences

    Hm. This is going to have some interesting impacts on social science research. I mean my degree is in Politics and frankly, my bookshelves are stuffed with literature on all sorts of knowledge that the government probably now thinks people shouldn't have - stuff on revolutions and how they work, that kind of thing.

    I wonder what will happen to the people that are researching / have researched this area? Heck we can even pick up the following on Amazon with a few moments searching.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Total-Resistance-H-Von-Dach/dp/0873640217/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/203-0079954-7830327?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1193207543&sr=8-1

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Handbook-Volunteers-Irish-Republican-Army/dp/0873640748/ref=cm_lmf_tit_11_rsrsrs0/203-0079954-7830327

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Principles-of-Improvised-Explosive-Devices/dp/0873642880/ref=cm_lmf_tit_14_rsrsrs0/203-0079954-7830327

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/CIA-Explosives-Sabotage-Manual-N/dp/0873640365/ref=cm_lmf_tit_17_rsrsrs0/203-0079954-7830327

    OK admittedly none of these show how to make explosives as such, but its not that hard to wander over to a Chemistry text book - or just steal some. I admit that in these Web 2.0 times actually reading a book is considered to be hard work. Of course that's books, not internet stuff. Books are, presumably, still OK.

    Books that are presumably not OK include the following:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Guerrillas-Arsenal-Techniques-Explosives-Time-delay/dp/0873647556/ref=cm_lmf_tit_21_rsrsrs0/203-0079954-7830327

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Improvised-Weapons-American-Underground-Desert/dp/0879471107/ref=cm_lmf_tit_25_rsrsrs0/203-0079954-7830327

    I'd like to point out that a) I merely point out that these books exist using a single, non-specialist supplier, and b) that they are all, of course, purely for information purposes only. I'd also note that they were very popular in the states at one time as part of the American anti-government militia movement. Of course in these times it would be tasteless to mention Oklahoma - so we won't.

    And as for the "fact" that someone boasted that they were going to be a suicide bomber. De Menzies jumped the turnstile. Everyone said so, so it must be true.

    Posted anonymously because the UK is getting some very odd laws.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Just about everybody

    I've never read so much drivel and I do realise that leaves this particular entry open to such an accusation but it will fall on deaf ears. If the police say "we can't do anything until a crime has been committed", ie. he's blown himself up along with half a train full of commuters, there'd be outrage. Especially if it was later known that he'd already been under suspicion. This time they are proactive and you all go on about civil liberties and such codswallop. Civil liberties should only apply to those who are civil.

    >Given that you were providing internet access

    To anybody with half a brain it is obvious that the judge means "providing access to via the internet".

    He should have been locked up for a lot longer.

  60. mad clarinet
    Coat

    /bin/laden

    A /bin/laden 'excuse' appears on the 'both excuse server'

    http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~ballard/bofh/

    Oh well, hearing of some of the dumb things people have tried to 'hide' stuff I'm not surprised. Thats the Windows user for you....

    rm -rf /bin/laden anyone.......

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Lads, lads, lads

    getting drunk driving homa and killing a couple of children....3-5 years

    possesing material that is freely available...8 years. Slight inconsistancy don't you think? Also going around telling people you want to be a suicide bomber or whatever is not evidence, any self respecting terrorist org. would run a mile from such a vocal idiot.

    And might bring to your attention one of the first lessons of Physics A-Level was about the construction of a nuke. Including diagrams. Admitadley it's a simple device but........

  62. Risky
    Dead Vulture

    In Reg-la-la-land

    I see the fearless reg is busy dispelling the myth that thereare some islamacist fanatics keen on on a bit of domestic terrorism. No doubt we will soon move back and reveal how the london bomings were a conspiracy between mossad/cia/mafia/elvis as part of a secreat plan to blah, blah, snore.....

    If it's really hard to knock this stuff out you can always hop on the approptate uk forums and somewhere next to a rehash of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the bit about the 1,234 who stayed at home on September 11th, you'll find lots of ready-made theories why x was really done by the US/UK whoever and not the devout Y, who is still a martyr and justified in what he, um, didn't do.........

  63. mark
    Black Helicopters

    RE: Anarchist's Cookbook

    It's already happened, some 17 year old kid was hauled up in front of a judge earlier this month for "possessing material for terrorist purposes.... alleged he had a copy of the "Anarchists' Cookbook""

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7030096.stm

    There's another court hearing on this tomorrow, should be interesting.

  64. Graham

    @John A. Blackley

    Go back to reading the Daily Mail in your more lucid moments between inciting religious hatred and excusing excessively heavy handed policing... I suppose you're lamenting the fact that said plods didn't employ the "De Menezes" maneouvere and just shoot Mr Siddique in the head.

    If you arrested everyone in Glasgow who repeatedly expressed a desire to cause violence against others then I think it would be a very quiet city; certainly the terraces at Ibrox and Celtic Park would have tumbleweeds blowing across them. How is this type of emotion substantively different from Mr Siddique's? Except of course that he's a Muslim so immediately guilty in your eyes.

    The fact that people on here keep trying to assert, and that you seem completely blind to, is that Mr Siddique has been convicted for thoughts, not deeds; the trial itself really didn't show any real evidence that he was planning to enact any of his assertions any time soon. On that basis, and taking the comparison of sentences for other crimes committed in this country, he was harshly treated.

    Just to curtail your racial profiling I'm not a muslim, I'm Scots, white, middle class and employed in the IT industry, I don't read the Guardian and typically have a very unforgivng stance on crime; in this particular case however I feel that the facts presented by the procurator fiscal and the sentence handed down by the judge have more to do with fear than anything else.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...that's even worse

    "Truecrypt lets you have a hidden volume within your encypted volume which they cannot prove even exists.

    You can put some dodgy porn in here & pretend to the fuzz that was all you had to hide."

    And now suddenly everyone using Truecrypt is in deep shit if they DON'T have a hidden volume. Somehow I think the possibility of having one is enough to request keys to it. If you possibly hid a body in the forest, they have the right to ask you where is it, right?

    --Gimme the keys

    --Here you go

    --Now the ones to the secret volume

    --I don't have one

    --Really? You must be a terrorist hiding plans to blow up the moon or something. Surrender the keys now or else

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Precrimes, If he was a terrorist they'd have monitored him

    "of how he was "going to blow up the city" and his other habit of praising and justifying Muslim suicide bombers.... Like it or not, the government has to do something in the face of suicide bombing"

    Notice you automatically assumed that he would go on to become a suicide bomber, even though threats that are never implemented are very common (how many times have you threatened to kill someone and never done it?)

    What's the probability of disaffected muslim youth going on to be suicide bombers? Say there are 100k disaffected muslim youths, of which 2 maybe go onto to suicide bombers, do you lock up the 100k JUST IN CASE?

    What if we were arresting smokers who threatened Julian le Grand's life on the assumption that they would go on to kill him? Perhaps 10000 of them?

    That's the basis for this law, it's a precrime law. You arrest disaffected muslims for innocuous things like angry speech and then lock them up just in case they may in future become a suicide bomber for a period long enough to calm them down. 8 years isn't a sentence for linking to bad websites, it's a sentence for suspected future terrorist!

    If he really was a likely terrorist, he'd have been monitored and arrested when he obtained bomb making equipment, not arrested at the angry muslim stage. He'd have been one of 10 or so out of the 100k that's monitored. He'd have been prosecuted for possessing bomb making equipment rather than 'linking to bomb making websites and making angry comments'.

    I think this is a bad Tony law, nobody can see into the future and locking people up just in case makes things worse.

    The doctor that burned himself in a car at Glasgow airport did not have a website with angry comments on it, having a website with angry comments on it is not a strong indicator of possible future terrorism. The Iraqi doctor in Glasgow was no doubt angry at the Lancet's estimated of 600k of his fellow Iraqi's dead, plus a bunch of lies that toe rag Tony was telling. But then aren't we all? Does that means we're all likely to go on the rampage as a result?

  67. TeeCee Gold badge
    Coat

    "..... blow up targets in Glasgow"

    Well he's definately a jihadi nutcase then, unless that was a Civil Engineering course that you took together?

  68. randomtask
    Coat

    First TV-Links...

    has been taken down and now we lose the startlingly underused terror-links.co.uk Where will they draw the line???

  69. Martin Hargreaves
    Stop

    That key disclosure story...

    The Act: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/ukpga_20000023_en_8

    The Article:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/03/ripa-decryption_keys_power/

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where do I begin...

    @Jon Tocker

    [quote]

    What the likes of Philip seem to forget is that, although what he did was suspicious, he did not actually carry out an "Act of Terror".

    [/quote]

    Do you ever watch the simpsons, are you related to Side Show Bob, he also thinks that Attempted Murder should not be a crime and likens it to someone getting a nobel prize for attempted chemistry. So you have no objection to me coming to your house and shooting at you. If I miss then no crime has occurred as you were not murdered.

    As far as I can see, no-one here was in the court room for this trial, therefore no-one here can actually say what the evidence showed.

    As for the people saying, he should not be convicted of anything because they only found documents on his PC and he didn't actually do anything. Do you also hold this policy for people have have kiddie porn on their PC, even if they haven't actually touched any kids themselves?

    I am willing to admit that I don't have all the facts to say whether his conviction is right or wrong, however in my opinion, if it was proven that he had documents that were considered illegal, and there was "proof" that he had intentions to terrorize or help others to terrorise then he should be jailed, if it was only a suspicion of these things then there would be reasonable doubt and he should be freed (doesn't mean that they can't keep an eye on him).

    My 2p

  71. Graham Jordan

    Twin Towers

    So i've a few news clips of the attacks on the Twin Towers on my hard drive, does that make me a terroist too?

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @ John A Blackley

    So John, by your logic, and since it's impossible to prove what's going on in someone's head, it's OK to think about bombing Glasgow and taking out as many of us as he possibly can, it's just not OK to write it down, collate Jihadi material and provide links to the same. Even if he did have the sense not to set up his website and collate material in a hidden file and tell all and sundry that he admired suicide bombers, it wouldn't have changed what he was thinking FFS.

    Sending this guy down for 8 years isn't going to make a jot of difference - nor is it going to make a jot of difference to the hundreds of dissaffected, disenfranchised and Occident hating citizens of of this and every other western "democracy" who presently are plotting to kill as many of us as they can, but they maybe have the sense not to publicise it. Indeed, if anything, it's very likely to inflame the situation still further, and no amount of your 'better off in custody because he's terminally stupid' comments are going to make them think that justice has been served.

    And to Chris W. Leaving aside the fact that all the Police seem to say around my part of Scotland is "we can't do anything till a crime has been committed", let's have some real evidence that a crime WILL be committed, not merely the potential.

    I give up. El reg is obviously the wrong place to be discussing this, there's no hope of changing the minds of such fatuous ignorance. Go back to your Daily Mail people, there's nothing to see here.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No wonder the Liberals are unelectable...

    > It would have been perfectly possible to stop him long before he commited an actual act of terror (say by confiscating his passport?) and when there was sufficient material evidence (bomb making equipment) to convict.

    Oh, God, here we go again... This is a circular argument. Can you imagine hordes of people who would write to El Reg stating "It would have been perfectly possible to stop him long before he got the bomb-making materials together (say by confiscating his passport?) and when there was sufficient material evidence (possession of terrorist materials like bomb-making instructions) to convict.

    Wake up...! You think confiscating a passport is going to prevent someone building and detonating a bomb..? God help us... Just as well this idiot was convicted, or else there would be another frenzy demanding why the police didn't get their fingers out and "do their jobs properly"...

    Someone was asking about the offence of failing to hand over encryption keys? See Part III of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (and the penalties have since been increased by the Terrorism Act 2006). The criminal offence is to fail to comply with a S.49 Notice, contrary to S.53(1): "A person to whom a section 49 notice has been given is guilty of an offence if he knowingly fails, in accordance with the notice, to make the disclosure required by virtue of the giving of the notice."

  74. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    OMG I must be a terrorist

    I never keep any of my files in Bill Gates' directories. After all that's why he called the folders "my", isn't it? So that he could keep his own data there if he runs out of space on his own computer, right?

    But, honestly, I only thought it was polite of me to keep Bill's personal space clean and uncluttered. I never meant I would commit a grave crime under the Prevention of Terrorism Act by doing this. Please don't shoot me. Seven times in the head. Once would be enough.

  75. David S

    Umm...

    "he was telling everyone who would listen that he wanted to become a suicide bomber and blow up targets in Glasgow..."

    Okay, I don't know a hell of a lot about terrorists (I mean, I lived in Northern Ireland during my formative years and all, but those guys were USA-funded, and hence "freedom fighters" natch) but I'm pretty sure that running around shouting about how you're going to blow everyone up, oh yeah, so you'd all better watch out is more a sign of a slightly odd wannabe than a serious-minded terrorist.

    Real terrorists are far more likely to look, and act, a lot more like you or I do.

  76. bambi
    Thumb Down

    Yee-Haaaw We's Havin a book burnin mom!

    Who'd have thought books would be illegal in the UK....

    Yet again the master speaks and we go running tail wagging....

    It will be evoloution next, god dam heathens

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Mars

    Title

    WEEE WAAAA WEEE WAAAA

    HERE COME THE THOUGHT POLICE!!!

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Attempted murder? When did he do that?

    "Do you ever watch the simpsons, are you related to Side Show Bob, he also thinks that Attempted Murder should not be a crime and likens it to someone getting a nobel prize for attempted chemistry."

    Who did he attempt to murder?

    You see the problem, what he did was link to bomb making sites from his blog and make angry comments. However he was prosecuted as though he committed attempted murder. Even you make the link between what he did and what you think he's being prosecuted for. But would you have made that link if he was white and non-muslim yet had done the same thing?

    At best if you thought the threat was real, you'd have monitored him and arrested him if he obtained bomb making equipment.

    "As for the people saying, he should not be convicted of anything because they only found documents on his PC and he didn't actually do anything. Do you also hold this policy for people have have kiddie porn on their PC, even if they haven't actually touched any kids themselves?"

    Is having a kiddie diddling video the same as raping and murdering children?

    Is watching the video of the soldier's beheading in Iraq the same as beheading the soldier yourself?

    Is possessing a chemistry book explaining how LSD is made the same as making LSD?

    You attempted to appeal to the emotions to avoid logic. Owww won't somebody think of the children!

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Re: No wonder the Liberals are unelectable...

    Erm... he was arrested at the airport on his way to Pakistan - alegedly to receive his "terrorist training". Confiscating his passport would have made this a wee bit difficult. And no, of course it wouldn't have stopped him making a bomb - don't be so fucking daft.

  80. Doug

    evidence ..

    According to Evan Kohlmann, the laptop was accessed AFTER it was taken into custody. Doesn't this invalidate any such 'evidence' ..

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    S.49

    "If you possibly hid a body in the forest, they have the right to ask you where is it, right?"

    Yes, and you have a right not to tell them. You are not required to incriminate yourself. What the UK govt has done is attempted to sacrifice yet another of our rights in the name of "protecting us."

    In the end, it boils down to this. If you have evidence that you intend to commit / have committed criminal acts encrypted on your computer and you receive a S.49 you can:

    1) Incriminate yourself by disclosing the keys. You'll serve the term for the offense;

    2) Don't disclose the keys and get 2 to 5 years, bearing in mind that the failure to disclose may strengthen the case against you; or

    3) As already discussed use something like True-crypt, disclose the key to your soft porn collection and, assuming they have little other evidence, walk free. The onus is on the prosecution to prove that you have withheld the keys to encrypted data which becomes *much* harder when you give them this key.

    It's everyones duty to prevent the erosion of our civil rights. They are the only things that offer true safety. To that end, I'd encourage everyone to create a truecrypt volume on their computer.

    Whilst people in other countries are fighting their governments for the rights we take for granted in order to gain protection, we're giving them away to gain protection. It's plainly obvious that there's something not right about that.

  82. Joe Blogs

    @Attempted murder? When did he do that?

    Oops, when I posted the "Where do I begin threat I didn't mean to post Anon.

    Anyway...

    [quote] Is having a kiddie diddling video the same as raping and murdering children? [/quote]

    No, but both are illegal so both should be prosecuted

    [quote] Is watching the video of the soldier's beheading in Iraq the same as beheading the soldier yourself? [/quote]

    See above

    [/quote] Is possessing a chemistry book explaining how LSD is made the same as making LSD? [/quote]

    This one I'm not sure about. Is making LSD illegal? I presume making it to sell it is, selling it is, and possession is. Yeah I know, if you are making it, when you have finished then yeah you posses it, but until it's made then you don't actually have LSD in your possession.

    [quote] You attempted to appeal to the emotions to avoid logic. Owww won't somebody think of the children! [/quote]

    No, I didn't. I only used that as an example of the logic. Maybe it's an emotional example, but it was the logic I was using. Oh and that's also another favourite quote from the simpsons I like to spout out (tongue in cheek) when the nanny state sticks its oars in!

    Anyway, the point I was making was maybe he was charged (as per the article) for having illegal documents and not, as per your post, for being a terrorist (or "attempted terrorist"). There is a law against having certain documents. It may not be a just or correct law, however, it exists. He had illegal documents, he was convicted for that crime. 8 years may be a bit harsh, but maybe the judge decided that in his view, because he had them and because of the nature of them, he may be a danger to the public so he went harsh on the sentence. This however is just my thoughts, I wasn't there and I have no direct access to the thought process of the judge.

  83. C Greenock

    Banned books.

    So when can we expect all the major bookstores in the UK to be raided? After all they've been selling copies of that well known insurgents' guide, the "Home Guard Manual". It's full of interesting stuff such as ,"...how to destroy tanks, ambush the invaders, use weapons of varying sorts, make boobytraps...". And by way of a bonus there's a very informative section on the best way to destroy a railway line*.

    Oh, and what about shutting down Amazon as well as the bricks and mortar shops?

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Home-Guard-Manual-Campbell-McCutcheon/dp/0752438875

    Or even this helpful chap?

    http://www.ebookee.com/Home-Guard-Manual-1941_123689.html

    *Although that may no longer be necessary in the UK if some of the high profile accidents of the last year or two are anything to go by.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Re: John A Blackley

    Why do they have to do something in the face of suicide bombing? How many successful bombings have there been in the last seven years in the UK? In general, terrorism is at an all time low. The fact that he was talking about wanting to become a suicide bomber is no more crazy than someone shouting about wanting to join the army and kill lots of Iraqis. It's an awful thing to say, but there's no reason that you should be arrested for it, just as if I had lots of leaflets from the BNP, even though they may be disgusting in nature, they shouldn't result in an 8 year term. If anything, the fact that he was telling everyone he met about it suggests that he should have nothing more than a watch kept on him instead of wasting valuable money that could be spent finding real terrorists.

    There's no reason to have laws like this, we didn't need them during the IRA terror period and we don't need them now.

  85. Aaron
    Thumb Down

    Shame we dont know all the facts

    On the surface this looks like a racial issue more than anything else.

    For example I have some of the 911 and beheading video's saved one of my computer hard drives. I have such material that I wouldn’t want my younger cousins to see (including porn etc) saved someplace else that’s not obvious. I've also downloaded and looked at the Jolly roger cook book because I was curious to see what was in it. Last of all I run several online forums which could contain links to sites with other content (I don’t follow every link posted).

    Now Im a typical hardworking 9-5 white brit, I don’t believe in god/religion, so I highly doubt id ever have any hassles from the contents of my hard drives/websites. But if I was a Muslim I bet the story would be completely different.

    There is bound to be a lot more going on that we don’t know about but I really do have to ask if this guy wasn’t Muslim would he really be in such trouble?

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    If he isn't a terrorist yet...

    ...he will surely become one when they release him. Feel sorry for this lad.

  87. 1865

    Here we go again...

    Thinking about something is not a crime BUT preparing yourself or facilitating others for a crime is, whether that act is carried out or not. Not toooo difficult to understand, and it's always been this way.

    Lot of anti-cop stuff on The Register recently. Would be nice for site editor to explain why.

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Its so unfair!!

    I suppose as a white middle class bloke, if I went around telling everyone I wanted to kill people with a suicide bomb and then collected and distributed terrorist training material I would also get put in prison!!!

    What is this world coming too, when a man cant even promote and threaten to commit terrorism.

    He obviously isnt a terrorist because terrorists are all well adjusted, mellow, sensible people. They dont tend to be angry disillusioned young men craving attention.

    What a complete waste of police resources, they should be out there catching more speeding motorists!

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Government pissbrains

    Governments spend far too much time screwing around with and trying to control people. If they are worried about Jihadists and terrorists, they had better look in their own backyards, for the fall and revolution will come from within by native born, and it will have nothing to do with Islam!

    Tired of the oppressive bullshit? ...Pick up a gun and go out and make your own political changes! If leaders behave as tyrants, then deal with them as tyrants. Ammo is cheap and armor can be penetrated!

    Time to deal with the US/UK Gestapo.

  90. stalker

    wonder what....

    they'd make of the contents of my hard drive....does havin a healthy interest in *ahem* european health videos constitute a crime? especially when hidden from the wife in my c:\windows\system32bc\forms\programming\dontuse\pr0n folder............ :D

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RIPA part III

    It's already been discussed here

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/03/ripa-decryption_keys_power/comments/

    Basically this law outlaws possession of noise, which, may I remind everyone, is

    1. everywhere

    2. indistinguishable from encrypted information

    Well done!

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it just me...

    Or is this a blatant over reaction to a "terrorist threat" that does nothing but serve the terrorists' purposes? Osama must be laughing...

  93. Risky

    Obscene?

    Wouldn't a video of a beheading constitute indecent material and thus be prosecutable for that offence.

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @anarchist cookbook

    I too have an old text file of this great book. I am not a terrorist and dont ever intend to be, but at least based on reading it, i know how silly our airport laws are.

    If the people are not educated (as is increasingly the case in the UK) then the officials can tell us any old rubbish. Censoring this kind of info is part of the way they plan to control us!

  95. Louis Cowan

    Teaching forbidden arts

    My chemistry teacher taught me how to make thermite, and how to ignite it. My ENGLISH teacher taught me how to kill someone with a newspaper! Does this make me a fully-trained jihadist, and those secondary school teachers, are they preachers of evil?

  96. Billy Verreynne
    Coat

    Dodgy Porn?

    Dave said on Tuesday 23rd October 2007 18:38 GMT

    "Truecrypt lets you have a hidden volume within your encypted volume which they cannot prove even exists. You can put some dodgy porn in here & pretend to the fuzz that was all you had to hide."

    What is dodgy porn? Er.. mind sharing some.. just for educational purposes you know...?

    In the meantime I'm going to put my hand up the horse's ass. I do believe that both the British Law Enforcement and Judicial systems both climbed in there.. maybe they can be grabbed and pulled out?

    (see picture for graphic demonstration)

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Airport security

    "based on reading [anarchist cookbook] i know how silly our airport laws are"

    ...while the rest of us think that confiscating 10ml of shampoo in a 120ml container is very sensible and justified, especially when anyone can buy a molotov at the duty-free right after the security check.

  98. John

    Not a reflection of the facts

    Hi

    Having read the judges comments, I think this article refered to a different case !

    If I read it correctly, even his mates said he spoke in support of terrorism.

    The Jury, having been offered the choice, decided he had the material to promote terrorism not just for idle curiosity.

    I too am concerned that the law seems to allow anyone in posession of anything that could be used in an antisocial manner to be locked up. Irrespective of intent to inflict harm on anyone. However, this doesn't look like an example.

    John

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ 1865 (comment title)

    "Thinking about something is not a crime BUT preparing yourself or facilitating others for a crime is, whether that act is carried out or not. Not toooo difficult to understand, and it's always been this way."

    Fair enough. One question though.

    If it's always been this way, can you please explain to us why we needed all this post-911 anti-glorification bullshit? Thanks.

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Soon we will need licences to use computers

    What I see coming is the time when these twats in authority decide that being allowed to communicate with others via the internet is so dangerous that we will need to obatin a licence to obtain access, much the same as the TV licence.

    As regards the Judiciary, very very few of them know anything at all about computers ,and probably as much as Granny does. I once was found, in the High Court, to have defamed someone who identified himself as "Mickey Mouse" and would not have been able to be indentified unless the Court had give someone an Order to obtain their name via ISP. In this case anything is possible.

  101. Mark

    Ammo box

    In many ways, I don't understand the idiots trying to gather more and more control to themselves in government. EVERY revolution started when enough people realised that they had no control over their lives.

    If ever I met an MP I would tell them that they are the ones with something to lose when it breaks down because it will ALL break down. If violence is on the cards, there aren't enough police or military to do squat to protect them.

    And their attempts to control me are engendered by them attempting to extend political change by threat of violence. Uh, isn't that El Tone's definition of a terrorist, post 11/9?

  102. laird cummings
    Black Helicopters

    It's been a while coming, but...

    ...1984 has finally arrived.

    Thoughtcrime and newspeak are the words for the day.

  103. Luther Blissett

    More illegal material

    So would Monty Python videos of their Spanish Inquisition sketch now be illegal too?

  104. Duncan Hothersall
    Unhappy

    Small world

    Well well, somebody called "mohammed" took the trouble to put my name into a search engine and send me an email letting me know he knew who I was, and congratulating me on my comment up there. Isn't the internet a marvellous place.

  105. Jon Tocker

    Philip and a few of you anonymous cowards

    I believe the law is supposed to say "innocent until proven guilty."

    As he was tried as a "terrorist" where is the proof that he attempted to put this information to use? Where are the bombs he built?

    BTW, "attempted murder" entails a bit more than possessing a book called "how to kill someone", you actually have to have some means of despatching said person and then attempt (and fail) to kill them. You cannot be convicted of attempted murder just because you have a book on poisons or how to maintain a firearm. You can't be convicted of attempted murder just for possessing a firearm. Or a kitchen knife.

    Where was Siddique's attempt? Where's the evidence that shows he was putting the knowledge into action?

    Philip. We're going to seize your computer, scan all your files/browsing histories for anything remotely suspicious and jail you for 8 years - I'm sure we'll find some evidence of something dodgy on it.

    Bear in mind, what constitutes "sedition" is very subjective. Sedition is what we say it is. I'm sure we could point to something about the contents of your hard drive that is less than perfectly squeeky-clean to prove you are a shady character who is undoubtedly an Al Qaeda sympathiser.

    Under McCarthy's regime, being a homosexual was enough to get you arrested, detained indefinitely and interrogated by the House UnAmerican Activites Committee as a communist sympathiser or security risk.

    I have: The Anarchist's Cookbook, Sun Tzu's Art of War,the Koran, the Book of Mormon, the Malleus Malificarum, various Buddhist texts, copious chemistry texts that could be used in the manufacture of explosives and old sets of encyclopaedias that actually have the recipes for explosives.

    By your logic I am guilty of being a terrorist. Obviously part of the Muslim-Mormon-Catholic-Buddhist terrorist cell.

    If you have someone "acting suspiciously" under surveillance, you do not arrest him/her for what (s)he *might* do. You continue surveillance until said person is in possession of a bomb - and then you pounce.

    You don';t have to pick your nose until they've blown someone up as the scaremongers on this thread have suggested is the "only possible alternative" to what has happened. But you can at least wait until they have done something more sinister than what 90% of the knowledge-mad geeks on this site have done.

    Then you can point to physical evidence (the bomb) and say "this bugger's a terrorist".

    You do not arrest and detain a person for 8 years because of what you *think* his motives are.

    You guys might be happy now that presumption of innocence has been suspended, but wait until it's your door being knocked on (down?). You'd all be the first to whine that your rights - the same rights you're prepared to take away from anyone who is not you - have been violated.

    I bet your cars can go faster than the legal speed limit. How about you lose your licences for eight years because you're obviously planning on speeding? All we have to do is find the links to a Formula One site on your web site to prove you intend on putting your car's full potential to use.

    Face it, you're all murdering scum planning to cause carnage on the road through excessive speed - the "evidence" is all there.

  106. Delysid

    Welcome to the Police State

    How can linking to a publicly accessible website constitute part of a guilty verdict? Google must be due for several thousand consecutive life sentences.

    And how can where you store documents on your own computer be used to secure criminal conviction?

    And finally, how can people who support this miscarriage of justice and cheer on the dissolution of the tenuous boundary separating democracy from totalitarianism be so blind as to fail to realize on what side of the police state, and what end of a Taser gun, they will find themselves on when faced with trumped up charges based on who you know, what you say, where you web-browse?

    Of course, it could never happen here, right?

  107. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am guilty

    "On charge (1) you have been convicted of having in your possession articles for a purpose connected with terrorism. The jury were given by me the alternative of convicting you either on charge (1) or the lesser charge of simply collecting material on charge (2)."

    Eh? Simply collecting this stuff with no criminal intent is in itself a crime?

    I have done it myself (and probably still have them in my HD somewhere) to put together a mockumentary on the Jihad. Should I turn myself in?

    Paraphrasing Martin Niemöller:

    First they came for the suspected terrorists, and I did not speak out, for I was not a suspected terrorist

    Then they came for the suspected future terrorists, and I did not speak out, for I was not a suspected future terrorist

    Then they came for the alleged suspected future terrorists, and I did not speak out, for I was not an alleged suspected future terrorist

    When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have Any Of You Read The Judges Statement?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/23_10_07_siddique.pdf

    (as linked in the original article)

    The judge clearly states that the weight of the evidence against the primary charge of conspiracy to commit a terrorist act. As he was arrested at an airport flying to Pakistan, carrying a laptop with a document (not freely available on the net) telling him that he would be flying to Pakistan to a training camp; that he had repeatedly told people (both in person and on the net) that he wanted to be a suicide bomber, and had set up a website celebrating Jihad and containing links to sites describing how to be a suicide bomber; you might just think that....he wanted to be a suicide bomber?

    Not detaining him under the current laws would be pretty dumb.

  109. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dumb legislation implies dumb judiciary?

    "Not detaining him under the current laws would be pretty dumb."

    Are you saying that the judge couldn't but "follow the orders" of the New Nazis?

    I don't think it works that way...

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    "Pick up a gun and go out and make your own political changes!"

    Given that this is a moderated forum, that sort of ranting comes very close to incitement, and El Reg might want to review its moderation policy.

    Just saying. I haven't cc'd this to Special Branch.

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    John L. Lee

    "that sort of ranting comes very close to incitement"

    No it's ok, I know John, he's not a Muslim, he's cool.

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