|A 23-year-old who called herself the "Lyrical Terrorist" has become the first woman in the UK to be convicted under the Terrorism Act. |
Samina Malik, from Southall, west London, was found guilty at the Old Bailey of owning terrorist manuals.
The jury heard Malik had written extremist poems praising Osama Bin Laden, supporting martyrdom and discussing beheading.
Malik worked at WH Smith at Heathrow Airport until her arrest last October.
So MCB rep comes along to defend her as being convicted of a thought crime.
|The conviction last Thursday of the self-styled "Lyrical Terrorist", 23-year old Samina Malik, marks a further dramatic erosion of our liberties in the United Kingdom.|
In the wake of the guilty verdict, several newspapers printed extracts from her attempts at poetry, including gems such as How to Behead, and The Living Martyrs. The court had heard that on an online social networking group known as Hi-5 Samina Malik had listed her interests as "helping the mujahideen any way I can" and, in the section for her favourite TV shows, she entered "watching videos by Muslim brothers in Iraq, yep, the beheading ones".
However, Malik was also said to have downloaded some material from the internet including The al-Qaida Manual and The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook - it took me less than a minute to find both of these using Google, along with a document entitled How To Win Hand-to-Hand Fighting.
It is to be hoped that this case may yet serve as a demonstration of just how badly-framed some of our anti-terror legislation actually is. In a truly free society, it should not be a crime to merely download and read such material.
During her trial, Malik argued that she was not a terrorist and that she had chosen the online moniker "Lyrical terrorist" simply because it had "sounded cool" and that her poetry, online remarks and downloading of internet material was undertaken in an attempt to attract male admirers.
The problem for the rah rah for free speech is that this is no different from someone watching child porn or putting videos out proclaiming they would like to shoot up their school. It wasn't just the poems or even downloading terrorist manuals off the net. It was the total picture of a disturbing woman who is gathering up herself to commit serious crimes in the future.