UK woman found guilty of terror offences

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The Independent Online

Heathrow Airport worker Samina Malik, 23, who called herself the " lyrical terrorist", became the first woman to be convicted under the Terrorism Act 2000 today following an Old Bailey trial.

Malik gave a gasp as the guilty verdict was delivered. She bowed her head and sobbed.

Two of the five female jurors wiped away tears as submissions were made on her behalf to the judge.

Judge Peter Beaumont, the Recorder of London, bailed Malik under what he described as "house arrest" to be sentenced on December 6 and ordered reports into her family background.

He told her: "You have been in many respects a complete enigma to me." He warned her that "all sentencing options remain open".

Malik was arrested in October last year. When her bedroom was searched police found a ringbinder full of documents as well as a bracelet bearing the word "jihad".

They also discovered a sticker on a mirror inside the door, bearing the words "lyrical terrorist".

In one handwritten document found by police, she wrote: "Many opportunities have been given to me but something always holds me back.

"I always sit alone to think and ponder how it would be to unite with the Muslim ummah and to go shoot rocket-launchers, help them load their ammunition, nurse the wounded, and what the atmosphere would be like.

"I wonder what it will be like to be with the Muslims when a mischief kaffir is shot dead ... how it will be when we see our Muslim brothers and sisters go forth with swords in their hands, running towards blessed death with the look of 'I love death more than life' on their shining faces.

"I wonder how it will be on the front line. Without a doubt it is scary. One must be strong physically and mentally.

"I sit and ponder day after day, night after night. I want to have the death of a shaheed (martyr) ... I want the opportunity to take part in the blessed sacred duty of jihad."

Also found were publications from an Islamic extremist group called " Followers of Ahl us-Sunnah Wal-Jammaa'ah" (ASWJ) linked to another group, The Saved Sect, and extremist cleric Sheikh Omar Bakri.

In a box file in the family lounge was a printed-out version of the " declaration of war" by Osama bin Laden, the court heard.

One poem, called The Living Martyrs, said: "For the living martyrs are awakening/ And kuffars world soon to be shaking."

Another line ran: "Let us make Jihad/ Move to the front line/ To chop chop head of kuffar swine".

A second poem was called How to Behead: "It's not as messy or as hard as some may think/ It's all about the flow of the wrist," it read.

Another section said: "No doubt that the punk will twitch and scream/ But ignore the donkey's ass/ And continue to slice back and forth/ You'll feel the knife hit the wind and food pipe/ But Don't Stop/ Continue with all your might".

Discovered on the her computer were The Mujaheddin Poisoner's Handbook, Encyclopaedia Jihad, How To Win In Hand To Hand Combat, How To Make Bombs and Sniper Manual.

The court heard Malik joined an extremist organisation called Jihad Way, set up explicitly to disseminate terrorist propaganda and support for al Qaida.

She also belonged to a website called Hi-5, described in court as similar to social networking sites Facebook or MySpace.

On this she listed her interests as: "Helping the mujaheddin in any way which I can ... I am well known as lyrical terrorist."

Under favourite TV shows, it said: "Watching videos by my Muslim brothers in Iraq, yep the beheading ones, watching video messages by Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri and other videos which show massacres of the kaffirs."

In another internet entry, the court heard, she wrote the names Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Masri, Sheikh Abu Qatada, Sheikh Osama bin Laden and Abu Musa al Zarqawi.

Beneath was written: "May Allah continue to make our mujaheddin brothers firm and strong in war against the kuffar crusaders ... lyrical terrorist."

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, said: "Malik held violent extremist views which she shared with other like-minded people over the internet.

"She also tried to donate money to a terrorist group.

"She had the ideology, ability and determination to access and download material which could have been useful to terrorists.

"Merely possessing this material is a serious criminal offence."