British-born Muslim guilty of terrorism charges

Andrew Rowe, 34, from Maida Vale, west London, was convicted at the Old Bailey of having instructions on firing a mortar and a terrorism code, which the judge described as "chilling in the extreme".

The jury could not reach a verdict on a third charge relating to possession of socks bearing traces of explosives . Prosecutors said they were not seeking a retrial. Mr Justice Fulford said the 10-year maximum sentence for having articles for terrorism was inadequate and called on the Government to give "immediate and urgent consideration" to introducing discretionary life terms for such offences.

Rowe was arrested in October 2003, in possession of a pair of socks with explosive traces. He had already been under police scrutiny in the UK as a "well-known Jihadi" who went to places of conflict to help Muslims. Two months before his arrest, hand-written notes on using mortars were found in his former home in Westbourne Park, west London. After his arrest, a search of his estranged wife's Birmingham home discovered a code, which according to Mark Ellison, prosecuting, "made it possible to communicate in an innocent message which only spoke about mobile telephones".

Mr Justice Fulford said he believed Rowe was on the verge of an act of terrorism. He told Rowe: "It requires no imagination to understand what would have been in your contemplation." He added: "I want to make it abundantly clear that the Government should give immediate and urgent consideration to the adequacy of that term."

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken Macdonald, said: "The challenge we met was to prove that, although there was no direct link between Andrew Rowe and a particular terrorist act, possession of those items together with other evidence was sufficient for a jury to conclude that he had them for the purpose of terrorism."