Islamist protesters harangued Mr Justice Cooke from the public gallery at the Old Bailey, shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ (‘God is great’), ‘British go to hell’ and ‘Curse the judge’.
The outbursts came as Roshonara Choudhry, 21, was sentenced to life imprisonment for stabbing former minister Stephen Timms. Choudhry smiled broadly as the judge told her: ‘You said you ruined the rest of your life. You said it was worth it. You said you wanted to be a martyr.’
Choudhry became radicalised after reading
literature from radical Al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki
Outside, a second group demonstrated
as the judge told the high-flying
student – who stabbed the politician twice in the stomach as
‘punishment’ for voting for the Iraq invasion – that she must serve at
least 15 years behind bars.
The chaotic scenes unfolded as Home
Secretary Theresa May dramatically
revealed that the Al Qaeda gang behind last week’s ‘Lockerbie-style’
cargo plane bomb plot are already working in the UK.
In court the judge pointedly
contrasted Mr Timms’ Christian beliefs with
the ‘distorted thinking’ of his attacker, who refused to recognise the
court and appeared by videolink for her sentencing.
‘Those values are those upon which
the common law of this country was founded and include respect and love
for one’s neighbour, for the foreigner in the land, and for those who
consider themselves enemies, all as part of one’s love of God.
‘These values were the basis of our
system of law and justice and I trust that they will remain so as well
as motivating those, like Mr Timms, who hold public office.’
Demonstrators protest outside the Old Bailey after the life sentence given to Roshonara Choudhry
The stabbed MP yesterday backed calls for an overhaul of U.S. websites hosting terror videos.
University student Choudhry attacked Mr Timms after becoming radicalised by online sermons from the extremist preacher suspected of masterminding the recent airline ‘ink bomb’ plot.
The men pictured were removed from the building after allegedly cursing the judge, swearing at the court, and threatening members of the jury
The MP, attacked at a constituency surgery, said: ‘My real worry about it all is that a very bright young woman with everything to live for would reach the conclusion that she should throw it all away by attempting to kill the local MP.
‘It is puzzling and alarming that she seems to have reached the conclusion by spending time on some website.
‘That raises questions about what’s
on the web. As I understand it, the material she accessed would be
illegal if it were hosted in the UK.’
Hundreds of videos inciting violence,
including clips by the U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki who
inspired Choudhry to attempt to assassinate the MP, were removed from
removal followed a private speech in the United States by security
minister Baroness Neville-Jones in which she called on the White House
to ‘take down this hateful material’.
Mr Timms, 55, describing the moment
he was stabbed in East London in
May by the smiling student, said: ‘I shouted out, “What was that for?”’
was the last thing that I expected to happen and there was absolutely
no explanation to me. She didn’t say a word. It was a complete bolt out
of the blue.’
After being disarmed by the MP’s
assistant and held
by a security guard, Choudhry told detectives the stabbing was ‘to get
revenge for the people of Iraq’.
Baroness Neville-Jones, who has called for the
removal of websites featuring jihadi sermons, and Labour MP Stephen
Timms, who was stabbed by a woman who had been radicalised watching one
of these videos
Sentencing Choudhry after she was
found guilty of attempted murder and two counts of having an offensive
weapon, the judge said that if she had succeeded in killing Mr Timms he
would have given her a whole-life sentence, meaning she would never be
He told her: ‘You intended to kill
in a political cause and to
strike at those in Government by doing so.
‘You did so as a matter
of deliberate decision-making, however skewed your reasons, from
listening to those Muslims who incite such action on the internet.
‘You are an intelligent young lady who has absorbed immoral ideas and
wrong patterns of thinking and attitudes.
‘It is not only possible, but I also
hope that you will come to
understand the distorted nature of your thinking, the evil that you have
done and planned to do, and repent of it.’
He added: ‘You do not suffer from any
mental disease. You have simply
committed evil acts coolly and deliberately.'
Determined: A ghostly CCTV image of Choudhry walking into see Mr Timms wirh her hand, holding the knife, concealed in bag
when she appeared by videolink for sentencing yesterday.
Wearing a black headscarf, she sat placidly blinking behind her glasses
as she watched proceedings on a screen in front of her.
the court heard she was a straight-A pupil and top university student at
King’s College, London. She had hoped to become a teacher but dropped
out weeks before carrying out the attack.
English language lecturer Alan Fortune said she was an outstanding
student who had been expected to achieve a first class honours degree,
adding: ‘The world was her oyster.’
But the judge told her: ‘There is no remorse on your part and you
to recognise the jurisdiction of this court over you in respect of your
attempts to murder the person chosen by your fellow constituents in the
East End of London, including Muslims, to represent them in the
democratic institutions of government in this country.’
'I WANTED TO BE A MARTY, THAT'S THE BEST WAY TO DIE'
was interviewed by detectives Simon Dobinson and Syed Hussain. In this
extract from the transcript she tells them she dropped out in the third
year of an English and communications degree at King’s College London.
Choudhry: I was the top student.
Question: Was you? OK and what did they say when you pulled out?
Choudhry: They didn’t want me to pull out.
Question: Tell me what happened today.
Choudhry: I stabbed Stephen Timms.
Question: You stabbed Stephen Timms?
Choudhry: Yep. I’ve been learning more about Islam.
Question: Where have you been learning that?
Question: What websites you been looking at?
Choudhry: I’ve been listening to lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki.
Question: Who’s he?
Choudhry: He’s an Islamic scholar. He lives in Yemen.
Question: And where have you been listening to these lectures?
Choudhry: I downloaded it off of the internet … explaining stories from the Koran and explaining about jihad.
Question: Has that contributed to your decision to leave King’s?
Question: And where was the link there then?
I thought that I should have loyalty to my Muslim brothers and sisters
in Palestine and so I should leave King’s and that would show my
loyalty to them.
Question: So when did you decide: ‘From what I’ve learnt, I’m now gonna go and stab Stephen Timms?’
Choudhry: A couple of weeks ago. It’s three weeks ago, four weeks ago.
Question: How do you feel now about what you’ve done today?
Choudhry: I feel like I did what I’d planned to do.
Question: Tell me your thoughts about what you’ve done.
I feel like I’ve ruined the rest of my life. I feel like it’s worth it
because millions of Iraqis are suffering and I should do what I can to
help them and not just be inactive and do nothing while they suffer.
I just want to go over a little bit how your thought has gone from
getting to religion to wanting some form of vengeance.
Because as Muslims we’re all brothers and sisters and we should all
look out for each other and we shouldn’t sit back and do nothing while
others suffer. We shouldn’t allow the people who oppress us to get away
with it and to think that they can do whatever they want to us and
we’re just gonna lie down and take it.
Question: Where did you learn that from?
Choudhry: From listening to his lectures.
Question: How did you feel about what you was about to do?
Choudhry: I was a bit nervous about what I was gonna do but I felt like it had to be done and it’s the right thing to do.
Question: What, what did you think about getting killed then?
Choudhry: I wanted to die.
Choudhry: I wanted to be a martyr.
Question: Why’s that then?
Choudhry: ‘Cos, erm, that’s the best way to die.
Question: Who told you that?
Choudhry: Islamic teaching.
Question: Where did you learn that?
Choudhry: It’s in the Koran and I learnt it from listening to lectures.
Question: What lectures?
Choudhry: By Anwar al-Awlaki.
Question: Why did you pick an MP to carry out this attack?
Choudhry: Because he was directly involved with the declaration of war, so he’d directly committed a crime.
Question: What do you think about what you’ve done?
I’ve fulfilled my obligation, my Islamic duty to stand up for the
people of lraq and to punish someone who wanted to make war with them.
For a far more extensive representation of muslim violence worldwide go to the Religion of Peace websit