NEWS

UK: Man Jailed for Terrorist Planning

By Matthew Harwood

Great Britain yesterday jailed its first person convicted for the new crime of planning a terrorist attack, reports BBC.com and the Guardian.

Sohail Qureshi, a 30-year-old London man originally from Pakistan, will spend the next four-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to the the new crime of acts preparatory to terrorism under the Terrorism Act of 2006. He also pled guilty to possessing articles for terrorist purposes and articles "likely to be useful to a terrorist," reported BBC.com.

The Guardian reports:

The prosecutor, Jonathan Sharp, said Qureshi had planned to fly to Islamabad for a "two- to three-week operation" either in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Waziristan, a tribal region of Pakistan. "Sohail Qureshi is a dedicated supporter of Islamist extremism," he said.

The court heard that police found a message on an extremist website in which Qureshi wrote: "Pray that I kill many, brother. Revenge, revenge, revenge."

According to both news organizations, Qureshi was in contact with Britain's "lyrical terrorist," Samina Malik. Malik, a jihadist poet, received a suspended sentence last year for possessing a library of terrorism material. She was the first Muslim woman to be found guilty of a terrorist offence, reported the Telegraph.

Qureshi contacted Malik to learn of security protocols at Heathrow Airport. Malik worked airside at the airport for WHSmith, a popular bookseller and newsagent. When Qureshi was arrested in October 2006, he was found carrying £9,000 in cash, a night-sight, two metal batons, and a computer hard drive, according to BBC.com.

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