Man jailed for possessing terror manual

A man who admitted possessing an al Qai'da training manual was jailed for 16 months today.

Khalid Khaliq, 34, was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court after he confessed to owning the CD, which was found in a police raid at his home.

Khaliq, a close friend of two of the 7 July London bombers, was arrested following the raid by anti-terror police.

Khaliq featured on an infamous photograph which showed him white water rafting in North Wales with London bombers Shehzad Tanweer and Mohammad Sidique Khan.

The court heard that all three men were also trustees of the Iqra book shop, a centre for young Muslims in Beeston in Leeds, which formed a focus of police operations following the London bombings.

Judge James Stewart QC said of Khan and Tanweer: "They, among others, were responsible for the deaths of 52 innocent London folk going about their daily business."

Khaliq yesterday admitted one count of possessing a document or record containing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

Prosecuting, David Farrell QC told the court that the al Qai'da training manual included a declaration of Jihad, an interview with Osama bin Laden and information about weapons and how to deal with being interviewed by police.

The judge said: "Our society, unlike many others, allows freedom of expression of religious and political views, but you overstepped the boundary, possessing material capable of training those bent on the destruction of the democracy and society whose benefits you have so readily accepted."

He said the manual had been downloaded from a website, where it had been placed as part of a transcript from a trial in America.

Khaliq's house was searched after he came forward as a friend or acquaintance of Khan and Tanweer.

The search revealed a library of extremist, though not illegal, material, together with the training manual.

"You obviously take a keen interest in terrorist activity and organisations. You also had a copy of the Terrorist Act, of which you have now fallen foul," the judge told the defendant.

He added: "In my judgment, the fact that you had this training manual and what it represents speaks volumes."

He described Khaliq as a "decent, hard-working and loving man".

He said: "You were born here, you have been brought up here and succeeded in this society which, some would say, you seem to hold in contempt."

The court heard Khaliq is the sole carer of three children, two girls aged 11 and eight and a five-year-old son, who has learning difficulties.

The judge said: "Some will say you should have thought of them before committing a serious criminal offence as you did."

He said the case was so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence was justified.