Friday, February 15, 2008

Surrender on terror

"The government rejects any suggestion that Britain is a soft touch for terrorists." - Cabinet Office spokesman

Five students win terror appeal.
"The convictions of five young Muslim men jailed over extremist literature have been quashed by the Appeal Court. "

8 comments:

Bag said...

I don't quite agree with the link on this one. On one hand you have a government spokesman saying something you know is untrue yet on the other you have five people charged on really flimsy evidence. Evidence that I'm sure you would be unhappy about if you were on the jury. Having reading material is not a crime in the UK. Well at the moment anyway.

Snafu said...

Bag, the first jury convicted them. Looking at child pornography is a crime in the UK. It should also apply to terrorist literature.

Which is the greater risk!?!

x said...

I have many concerns about government legislation but think that is a bit naive, bag. Suggest you recheck the details.

Yes, anyone can have reading material or download potentially incrimiminating stuff (I have downloaded stuff on how to make explosives myself because I was interested, oh ok, and I wanted to blow up the guy next door) but what these chaps did, the volume of it, the context of all the items together and what they did with it, how they shared it amongst themselves, goes well beyond mere casual interest or "research".

These guys and the very many like them are a threat to all of us.

Bag said...

Snafu, Everyone who has ever appealed has been convicted first time. Terrorist literature is almost anything nowadays. In fact most of our newspapers glorify it so much it is almost an adverts. Terrorism is defined and plotting is also defined but this does not seem to be much more than some nutters shouting their mouths of. Perhaps the police should have made sure of the evidence before arresting them.

Mr X, I'm sure when you hand yourself in you will get a fair trial. At the very least downloading material on making bombs and, probably having most of the material in your possesion, with an intent is already an offence.

Oh and I agree these guys and others like them are dangerous which is why our police should not go off half cocked and make sure a case is sound before they pull everyone in. At the very least they should have enough evidence to prove they have committed some real crimes. I personally think these guys could have gone further and were stopped. Maybe it is a good thing they were stopped before they went to far but we will now never know.

My problem is really simple. To put people away you should have a case against them that will stand up to scrutiny not a list of circumstancial evidence that could apply to many innocent people all over the world.

Snafu said...

"I personally think these guys could have gone further and were stopped."

Bags, they haven't been stopped, they've been released...

When do you think the security services should have stopped four men heading towards London on July 7th, 2005?

Bag said...

These guys are now being watched and they know it.

But like I said if they had waited a bit longer a case may have been made.

As far as the 7/7 guys there was time before that date where they could have been stopped and with sufficient evidence to prosecute. Sadly they were not identified quick enough.

Our security services are way overloaded. Sending them after people who are simply reading literature is not an efficient use of their time. We need to catch them, prosecute them and put them away for a very long time.

Snafu said...

Bags, they can now download all the terrorist material they want secure in teh knowledge that they can claim harassment should the security services watch them too closely!

The law should be changed so that downloading terrorist material is illegal just like child pornography.

Bag said...

Snafu,

Soon you will get your wish.

It will be used to also ban downloading of books on making knives, traps, rockets and books not glorifying socialism. Plus the banning of blogs who do not talk about knitting or how good our Socialist master are.

How many people have downloaded such material over the years and not gone on to do anything?

It is harrassment because it is not yet against the law. When it is then they can prosecute people. Or to put another way to harrass people using the law.