Friday, June 22, 2018
Student, 21, who failed to tell police that Britain's first all-female terror cell were plotting 'Mad Hatter' knife attack now faces being kicked out of UK
- Sisters and their mother plotted knife attack at British Museum or in Whitehall
- Elder sister was recorded practicing 'stabbing technique' at friend's house
- Friend failed to alert authorities to attack which could have left scores injured
- The woman - who came to Britain from Tunisia - was jailed and faces deportation
A school friend of a woman jihadi who plotted a terrorist knife attack with her mother and sister faces deportation for failing to raise the alarm.
Khawla Barghouthi was friends with Rizlaine Boular, who planned an atrocity at central London with her younger sister Safaa Boular, 18, and mother Mina Dich, 44.
Barghouthi, a 21-year-old who came to Britain from Tunisia a decade ago, was jailed for two years and four months today andtold she faces automatic deportation when she has completed her prison term.
Rizlaine, 22, and her mother have already been jailed while Safaa is still awaiting sentence.
The Boular's and their mother plotted the UK's first all-woman terror attack, which they called 'the Mad Hatter's Tea Party' in coded messages.
On the day of the proposed attack, on 27 April last year, Rizlaine and Barghouthi were recorded practicing how to carry out the attack at the latter's home in Harlesden.
Barghouthi could be heard to ask: 'How are you going to do it? What if they are faster than you?'
Boular replied: 'I'll put the knife into... (inaudible) heart instead.'
The girls could be heard laughing about Boular struggling to get the knife out of her rucksack, joking that she will 'cut my arm by accident'.
Barghouthi remarked: 'That would be the worst thing that could ever happen like you start a terrorist thing and then you stall.'
She later told Rizlaine 'Don't worry, come here, want to practice on me again', before directing her to 'Cut me like that'.
Rizlaine was shot three times by armed officers as she and Barghouthi were arrested before the attack could be carried out.
Michael Mansfield QC, defending, said her mother died when she was six and her father disappeared soon after when he could not cope.
Barghouthi lived with a series of relatives and came to the UK from Tunisia at the age of 11 speaking no English, he told the court.
She struck up a friendship with Rizlaine, a former pupil of the same school as her, in March last year.
The court heard Barghouthi knew her 'disturbed' friend was planning something, but 'didn't know what it was exactly' nor 'how serious' Boular was about it.
She later claimed to have been 'horrified' listening back to the 'shocking' recordings from her flat shortly before her arrest which she branded as 'extravagant talk' and 'stupid fooling around'.
Jailing Barghouthi, Judge Mark Dennis QC told her: 'It is difficult to take any other view than that you did believe that Rizlaine Boular had intended to do so and that it was highly likely, if not certain, that she would indeed carry out her act of violence.
'You appear to be a caring and intelligent person. However, not only did you fail to report the matter or fail to raise the alarm with anyone in the days before your arrest, thereby helping to save others from harm including your friend herself, but you appear to have done little, if anything, actively to dissuade her from her violent course.'
Dich and Rizlaine admitted engaging in preparation for terrorist acts whilst Barghouti admitted failing to disclose information about an act of terrorism.
Rizlaine was jailed for life with a minimum term of 16 years whilst Dich was jailed for six years and nine months last week. Safaa Boular, of Lambeth, will be sentenced at a later date.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
The victim was in the house with her children.
Labour councillor who was forced to resign as a school governor after saying there was 'no proof' ISIS exists is now working to protect children from radicalisation
- Safia Akhtar said people should 'stop pointing fingers' after Westminster attack
- She quit as school governor after writing: 'There is no ISIS and there is no proof'
- But she was elected as a Birmingham Labour Councillor at the May elections
- Now she has won council role helping protect city's children from radicalisation
A Labour councillor suspended as a school governor after claiming there was 'no proof' that ISIS exists has won a key council role - helping protect the city's children from radicalisation.
Safia Akhtar Noor had also previously posted on Facebook that people should 'grow up and stop pointing fingers' after the Westminster terror attack which left five dead.
She was suspended as a governor by Yew Tree Community School in Witton, Birmingham, which said her statements had breached its code of conduct - and later resigned her role of governor.
Yet despite the controversy sparked by her comments, the law student was allowed by Labour to stand in May's local elections, where she won a seat for Small Heath.
She is known as Councillor Akhtar in municipal circles, and in Birmingham City Council papers.
Now, it has been revealed Cllr Akhtar has been appointed to the Children's Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Alex Yip, Conservative councillor for Sutton Wylde Green, questioned her selection to the committee, which will include ensuring that children are protected from radicalisation.
Cllr Yip said: 'It is shocking to think that the Labour administration would appoint Councillor Akhtar, of all the ones available, to this scrutiny committee.
'Although she has apologised for saying they [her social media postings] should have been worded more carefully, they still represent her views.
'Considering that the school at which she was a governor suspended her, saying her comments breached its code of conduct, it beggars belief that Labour think it appropriate for her to oversee safeguarding of children, including protecting them from the threat of radicalisation.'
On March 22 last year, Birmingham terrorist Khalid Masood mowed down innocent victims on Westminster Bridge, killing four, before stabbing police officer Keith Palmer to death.
On the same day Cllr Akhtar - who was not a councillor at the time - posted on Facebook: 'Can people relax and stop fighting on Facebook?
'Sadly people died in Westminster today but people die everyday in Syria, Palestine, Africa, Rohingya, Kashmir.. Need I carry on?!!
'Grow up and stop pointing fingers!'
In another message posted the same day only to her followers, Ms Noor said: 'Terrorist attack... and even the terrorist died?! Let me guess, he was a Muslim!'
On March 27 last year, she commented on a newspaper article which carried the headline 'Westminster attacker Khalid Masood had interest in Jihad - police'.
Cllr Akhtar posted to her followers: 'So someone got stabbed after the attack last week as a result of media and government claiming that SO CALLED ISIS HAD CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY.
'There is no ISIS and there is no proof.'
Cllr Akhtar, who has posed for photographs with Labour MPs including Yvette Cooper, Jess Philips and Shabana Mahmood, previously issued a statement apologising for her postings.
Cllr Akhtar said previously: 'Having read these comments back, I accept I should have chosen my words more carefully,' she said.
'I didn't intend to cause any offence and I apologise to anyone who found those comments offensive or upsetting.
'I completely condemn all terrorist acts.'
Cllr Akhtar was unavailable for comment.
But Birmingham Labour Group Party secretary, Councillor Martin Straker-Welds, said: 'The Labour Party undertook a preliminary investigation that revealed not only that the posts had been removed very shortly after being posted but that Ms. Akhtar had also issued a statement where she offered an unreserved apology and condemned all terrorist acts.
'Councillor Akhtar has our full support.'
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Child sex gang of eight 'predatory' men who abused girls as young as 13 in a 's*** wagon' with the number plate ending 'SHG'
- Gang befriended teenage girls before plying them with drink and drugs
- They sexually abused their victims, some in a car they called the 's**gwagon'
- Each are given sentences of between seven and 16 years in court this week
- Judge says the case uncovered 'systematic and widespread grooming'
The eight men - branded 'predatory and cynical' by a judge - have now been jailed for between seven and a half and fifteen years each.
Judge Peter Ross said the investigation into the gang had uncovered 'systematic and widespread grooming'.
Investigating officer DS Nicola Douglas branded the gang's crimes 'abhorrent', adding: 'None of the perpetrators have admitted their guilt or shown any remorse.'
She praised the victims for coming forward, saying: 'The impact of these offences on the victims, their families and relationships cannot be underestimated.
'There are devastating consequences which last long after the offence is committed.
'Without these women telling their stories, perpetrators who exploit and commit serious sexual offences against some of the most vulnerable children and young adults in our communities will remain hidden, unpunished and free to do more harm.'
She added: 'I know nothing can ever undo the unimaginable suffering they were put through, but I hope it gives them some comfort to know these men have finally been held accountable for the abhorrent crimes they committed.'
The trial heard how the men coerced the girls into having sex at a number of addresses across Oxford, as well as in cars parked at lay-bys, and at local parks.
At sentencing hearings this week, Assad Hussain, 37, was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 12 years for multiple counts of rape and indecent assault.
Moinul Islam, 42, got 15 years and nine months for rape, indecent assault and supplying class B and class C drugs.
Haji Khan, 38, got 10 years for conspiracy to rape. Raheem Ahmed, 41, got 12 years for indecent assault and false imprisonment.
Kamran Khan, 36, got eight years for false imprisonment and indecent assault. Kameer Iqbal, 39, got 12 years for multiple rapes.
Alladitta Yousaf, 48, got seven and half years for indecent assault. Khalid Hussain, 38, got 12 years for indecent assault and rape.
During the trial, a number of victims recalled a black Nissan Serena people carrier in which many sexual abuses are alleged to have taken place, including a gang rape.
One victim said of the vehicle: 'They would pick the girls, have sex with them, and dump them. Everything happened in that Serena.'
The same victim said that the men would 'take it in turns' to have sex with her and that gang rapes would take place after she was plied with drink and drugs.
Another victim said: '[They] made you believe they actually care about you, and they actually don't.
'Like you are something important to them, that you are a friend to them. And, really, it wasn't that. It was just to get what they want. It took me some years to realise that.'
The sex attacks took place between 1998 and 2005 and defence barristers insisted the men were themselves young and 'immature' at the time.
Speaking after the case, prosecutor Adrian Foster said: 'These cases are, in effect, organised crime, and we approached this case in the same way we would approach any organised crime case by making connections, and building an understanding of criminal networks.
'We worked closely with Thames Valley Police from early in the investigation to help build the strongest possible prosecution case.
'Their investigators, and Crown Prosecution Service lawyers and caseworkers, have worked tirelessly to bring this difficult prosecution to court. I thank all who bravely came forward to provide evidence for the prosecution.
'The emotional impact on the victims and their family of the abhorrent actions of these men is impossible to quantify. I hope that these sentences give some small comfort to them.'