A judge launched a blistering attack on a British Muslim extremist yesterday, branding him 'a viper in our midst' and 'a corrosively dangerous threat' to the democratic process.
Jailing Bilal Zaheer Ahmad for 12 years, Mr Justice Royce said he was sending out a 'loud and clear' warning that Britain would not tolerate extremists preaching messages of hate and violence.
Ahmad, 24, who called on Muslims to murder MPs who supported the Iraq war, was the first person to be found guilty of inciting religious hatred under new laws banning the publication of inflammatory material.
The IT worker from Wolverhampton exhorted others to 'raise the knife of jihad' after a female Islamic extremist was jailed for trying to murder a Labour MP at his constituency surgery.
The judge told Ahmad: 'You purport to be a British citizen, but what you stand for is totally alien to what we stand for in our country.
'You became a viper in our midst willing to go to as far as possible to strike at the heart of our system.'
Anti-terrorist police welcomed the heavy sentence and said those tempted to incite others to violence should heed the warning. Ahmad was prosecuted under laws that ban the publication of material aimed at stirring up religious hatred.
The IT worker praised 21-year-old university student Roshonara Choudhry as a 'heroine' for stabbing Stephen Timms in east London in May last year.
He left a ranting message on the U.S.-based website RevolutionMuslim.com, a day after Choudhry was jailed for life six months later.
Ahmad called on other Muslims to follow in her footsteps by attacking and killing politicians who had voted to support the war in Iraq.
He posted a full list of MPs and provided an internet link to their personal contact details, suggesting constituency surgeries were a good place to 'encounter them in person'.
The university graduate even posted a link to a supermarket website that listed cheap knives for sale, urging followers to use them in attacks.
Ahmad also published Islamic writings claiming it is the duty of Muslims to carry out violent jihad and become martyrs to the faith.
The final words of his entry offered prayers to jihadi fighters in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and 'in Parliament'.
Investigators discovered Ahmad also posted messages about Choudhry's actions on the social network Facebook and the website of a free newspaper.
On Facebook, he wrote: 'This sister has put us men to shame. We should be doing this.'
On the newspaper website, he said Mr Timms 'got let off lightly'.
He added: 'Roshonara Choudhry is a heroine. Free Roshonara Choudhry and give her a medal for justice.'
The extremist website was quickly shut down and police traced Ahmad to his home in Dunstall, Wolverhampton, where he was arrested in his car.
He told officers he 'shouldn't have let my emotions get away from me' and his comments were 'tongue in cheek'.
The court heard Ahmad was first radicalised as a teenager after falling in with members of the now- banned organisation al-Muhajiroun at college.
His lawyer said his family, some of whom attended court to see him jailed, were not religious and he was 'indoctrinated by others'.
Using the names 'Bilal' and 'Abu Juhayman' when posting his extreme views online, he supported both al-Muhajiroun and Islam4UK before they were banned by the government.
On Facebook, he posted a link to a YouTube video in which he said: 'My message to the West. You are all going to die.'
Born in Warwickshire, Ahmad holds both British and Pakistani passports and at the time of his arrest was working for an insurance firm in Telford.
Jailing Ahmad at Bristol Crown Court, Mr Justice Royce said: 'Politicians are often faced with difficult decisions. They don't always get it right.
'They have to face up to serious criticism on occasions as part of the democratic process. The same can be said for bankers, press barons and judges.
'It is important MPs can hold constituency surgeries without the threat of someone pulling out a knife and trying to kill them.
'You were intent on striking at the heart of our democracy and if our politicians are to be at risk from those like you, then the message must go out loud and clear that this country will not tolerate such threats to its democratic processes.'
Mr Timms suffered terrible injuries when he was attacked during a surgery in his East Ham constituency. Disturbed Choudhry, who plunged a six-inch kitchen knife into his stomach, was influenced by the radical sermons of Yemen-based preacher and Al Qaeda chief Anwar al-Awlaki.
Mr Timms later called for tighter controls on extremist websites and incendiary material to protect other 'vulnerable young people' from 'going down the same road'.
Detective Chief Superintendent Kenny Bell, of the West Midlands Police counter-terrorism unit, said the heavy sentence underlined how extremist messages would not be tolerated.
He said: 'The sentence sends a very important message to anyone who is considering using the internet to publish their extremist ideology to encourage acts of violence.'
This guy was actively calling upon Muslims to commit violence against members of Parliament. Once again, Pamela Geller said it best: "I anxiously await the same intense and extensive mainstream media coverage and obsession that we witnessed immediately after and in the ensuing days of the Norway massacre to determine the motivation behind this explosive plot at Fort Hood. I expect extremists Brian Williams, Anderson Cooper, the NY Times, LA Times, IHT, CNN, BBC, et al, to be just as rabidly obsessed and consumed with investigating what ideology incited this Muslim to recruit for jihad."
Consider: why the double standard? A Norwegian psychopath cites the work of a number of people who point out a problem but have never remotely advocated violence as a solution to it, and suddenly these people are tarred in the international media as creating a climate of "hate" in which someone was inevitably going to "snap." And what follows is an international media firestorm investigating what inspired this killer, with the finger pointed squarely at anti-jihad writers. This demonization campaign dovetails nicely with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation's ongoing efforts to silence and criminalize honest discussion of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence.
So now Bilal Ahmad has an actual death list and calls forthrightly for the murder of MPs. Is anyone going to investigate what inspired him? No, because such an investigation would lead directly back to the Qur'an and Sunnah, and no one wants to go there.