Graduate 'viper' jailed for urging killing of MPs

An IT graduate who posted messages on an Islamic extremist website urging Muslims to attack British MPs who voted for the Iraq War was described as "a viper in our midst" by a judge who jailed him for 12 years yesterday.

The judge said Bilal Zaheer Ahmad's views were "corrosively dangerous" and told him: "You purport to be a British citizen but what you stand for is totally alien to what we stand for in our country." Ahmad posted the threat on a US-based website on 3 November last year, a day after a Muslim woman had been jailed for trying to murder a senior Labour MP, Bristol Crown Court heard.

He was sentenced to an additional five years' extended period on licence and the judge told him: "Whatever our views on the Iraq War, we are a democracy."

The judge said that politicians are "often faced with difficult decisions" and have to face up to "serious criticism on occasions as part of the democratic process".

He added: "The same can be said for bankers, press barons and judges. It is important that MPs can hold constituency surgeries without the threat of someone trying to kill them.

"You were intent on striking at the heart of our democracy and if our politicians are to be at risk from those like you, then the message must go out loud and clear that this country will not tolerate such threats to its democratic processes."

Bristol Crown Court heard that Ahmad listed the pro-war politicians on the website and urged other would-be fanatics to "raise the knife of jihad" against them.

In his message posted last year, Ahmad offered advice on finding out details of politicians' constituency surgeries to help anyone who wanted to target them, the court was told.

He also posted a link to the Tesco.com website which listed cheap knives for sale and urged followers to use them to carry out attacks.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas