Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Monday, December 10, 2018
- Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, 27, drove a blue Toyota Prius at a marked police van
- Uber driver was sprayed with CS gas and arrested after shouting 'Allahu Akbar'
- Armed with a sword, he scuffled with officers who required hospital treatment
- Chowdhury, of Luton, left a suicide note on his sister's laptop, Old Bailey heard
An alleged terrorist who attacked police officers with a samurai sword outside Buckingham Palace left a suicide note which read: 'The Queen will be in hellfire'.
Mohiussunnath Chowdhury drove his Toyota Prius through traffic cones at a marked police van and reached for the blade on August 25 last year, the Old Bailey heard.
The Uber driver was sprayed with CS gas and arrested after shouting 'Allahu Akbar' during a scuffle with two officers outside the royal residence, jurors were told.
Chowdhury, 27, drove with a coal black samurai sword and a knife sharpener from his home in Luton, to the road opposite Buckingham Palace.
He then allegedly swerved in front of a police van and the two officers inside had to be taken to hospital after the struggle at 8.30pm.
The terror suspect drew 'posters' in prison of an officer being shot by a man shouting 'Allahu Akbar', the jury heard.
Chowdhury also sketched a picture of a plane hitting the Twin Towers, the Old Bailey was told.
He then pinned the posters up on his cell wall after he was remanded in custody ahead of his terror trial, it was said.
Chowdhury was born in London in May 1991 and later moved to Luton, working as a self-employed Uber driver.
Prosecutor Timothy Cray told the jury that Chowdhury planned to die as a martyr, fighting in the name of Allah.
In his 'suicide note' which he left on his sister's laptop on the night, Chowdhury wrote: 'Tell everyone I love them and that they should struggle against the enemies of Allah with their lives and their property.
'The Queen and her soldiers will all be in hellfire. They go to war with Muslims around the world and kill them without any mercy. They are the enemies Allah tells us to fight.'
The Uber driver, from Luton, accepts he drove his car to the palace then brandished a samurai sword on August 25, 2017.
The Old Bailey heard he now claims he was trying to trigger a 'death by cop suicide' and not a terror attack.
But an imitation gun was also found at his flat which prosecutors say could have been used to fool cops instead of the 'deadly' sword.
Prosecutor Timothy Cray showed the jury the drawings found inside his cell at Belmarsh Prison on September 27.
One image, scribbled using different colour pens, included a speech bubble from a terrorist with the words 'Allahu Akbar', alongside a police officer riddled with bullet holes.
He also referenced part '9:111' of the Quran, writing in capital letters: 'Allah has bought the lives of the believers in exchange for paradise.'
Mr Cray said: 'These two pieces of paper he pinned up on the wall of his cell, almost like posters.
'The first headed 'the exchange or bargain'.
'It states, with reference to verses from the Holy Quran, which the defendant interprets is an exchange or a bargain - we're taking it from his point of view.
'It seems that martyrdom, the exchange for that, an act of martyrdom, is paradise - that's the interpretation.
'He has illustrated the exchange or bargain by someone, a masked fighter, shouting Allahu Akbar, firing a gun into the chest of an unarmed, uniformed police officer - it seems outside number 10 Downing Street.
'The defendant accepts that he drew this.'
A search of his prison cell was then carried after the discovery, which revealed a piece of paper headed 'TAGHUT', a term for worship other than of Allah.
The paper, also written mainly in capital letters, included a list of 14 'Allies of Satan'.
The top three were 'USA and all allies', 'UK/Canada/Australia' and EU nations.
Mr Cray then showed jurors the 'realistic looking', chrome imitation BB pistol discovered in Chowdhury's bedroom.
He said: 'We say that if the defendant really is [saying], 'all I wanted to do is get myself killed by the confronting armed police', waving this around outside Buckingham Palace shouting 'Allahu Akbar' would do the job pretty well.
'If you didn't want to do anybody else any harm, why take the deadly weapon, the sharpened sword, when you could take something you know is perfectly harmless?
'Any armed police officer seeing you with that, pointing it, is going to shoot you dead.'
The jury was told during his police interview after the attack, Choudhury described it as 'surreal'.
Mr Cray said: 'He said that he was unhappy about the way things were, that our Queen is the root of the problems and he mentioned the corruption and the fact that life, society here was messed up, in his words.
'He said that due to the fact that police worked for the Queen, he planned to confront the police.
'He said he didn't think he would be able to go through with it, he said he just wanted to stand up against the atrocities that were going on in the world.'
The trial continues.
Thursday, December 06, 2018
Councillor, 50, is suspended after sending a porn photo of a topless woman to a mothers' group DURING a council meeting
- Councillor Mohammad Maroof faces probe for forwarding the unsolicited image
- He accidentally uploaded explicit image instead of council meeting footage
- The married father-of-two, 50, has now been banned from council meetings
A Labour councillor has been suspended after he accidentally sent a photo of a topless woman to a group of mothers during a meeting on knife crime.
Married father-of-two Mohammad Maroof distributed the photo to a Mums United WhatsApp group as its founder Sahira Irshad was presenting a petition to the full council meeting on knife crime.
The 50-year-old said he was trying to attach a video of Ms Irshad speaking and has now been banned from attending council meetings pending an investigation.
Cllr Maroof says the image was set to him earlier in the day on a different Whatsapp message and was automatically downloaded into his phone's photo file.
Mr Maroof, who also works as a taxi driver, instead 'accidentally' attached the explicit image and asked for it to be deleted 'within seconds' of sending it.
He has since apologised for what he described as an 'honest mistake'.
He said: 'I sincerely apologise. I had no intention to do such a thing and to cause such disruption.
'I have a lot of respect for the group. I am very embarrassed and this was an honest mistake.
'This is my private phone and I receive so many things that my Whatsapp has been set up to automatically save everything in my phone's photo file.
'Somebody sent me this photo, it may have come in the morning, and it went into my phone's file.
'I tried to send the group a video and by mistake, I pressed the wrong photo.
'As soon as I realised, I asked for it to be deleted as I couldn't delete it myself. It was only there for a second.'
Although the photo was deleted, it has still prompted complaints.
One member of the WhatsApp group, who did not want to be named, said: 'Is this what is expected of our elected representatives? Absolutely disgraceful.
'It says a lot when women in his area are crying out for support and he is too busy posting this.'
Mr Maroof, who Studied Masters degree in Law (LLM) at University of Derby, says he helped to set up the Mums United group to empower women.
'They came to me and asked how to deal with anti-social behaviour and I gave them the idea of setting up a group, I'm proud of helping to do that,' he added.
'I have worked with Sahira and other members and I suggested the name because we need to give confidence and assurance to female constituents so, if there are some issues, they feel safe and comfortable going to talk to people.'
Labour Leader Julie Dore has suspended Cllr Maroof pending an investigation.
She said: 'This is, of course, a very serious matter.
'Everyone has the right to explain how something like this could have happened but because of the seriousness of this, we will suspend Cllr Maroof immediately until we have ascertained the details.'
A group of mothers formed Mums United to help support and stop people falling into exploitative gangs and help nurture the next generation.
Headteacher and director of learning centre where children were praised for saying ‘Muslims and animals’ were saved in Noah’s Ark are fined for running an illegal school
- Al-Istiqamah Learning Centre in Southall, London, was not registered as a school
- But taught 60 children for five mornings a week and set homework every night
- Head teacher Beatrix Bernhardt and director Nacerdine Talbi have been fined
- Convicted of conducting an unregistered independent educational institution
The director and head teacher of a Muslim 'learning centre' for home-educated children have been fined for running an illegal, unregistered school in a landmark case.
Al-Istiqamah Learning Centre in Southall, west London, was not registered as a school but taught about 60 children for five mornings a week and set homework every night.
Head teacher Beatrix Bernhardt, 38, director Nacerdine Talbi, 47, and the Al-Istiqamah Learning Centre have now been convicted of conducting an unregistered independent educational institution after a three day trial.
Ofsted inspectors twice visited the centre based inside a three-storey office block on Uxbridge Road on 12 October and 14 November last year.
They found more than 50 children between five and 11 years old being taught there, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.
It separately emerged that a pupil's drawing was pinned to the wall at the 'school' which claims only 'Muslims and animals' were saved in the Ark. It received a tick from the teacher
The centre was set up to provide support and tuition for home-educated children, charging parents up to £250 a month.
At the time of Ofsted's inspections last year it had 58 pupils, the court heard.
Talbi told the court the teaching of children never exceeded 18 hours at the centre's doors which were open between 9am and 2pm.
He said he felt 'intimidated' by the Ofsted visits, adding: 'They didn't give me a chance to explain how the centre is run.'
Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said: 'The three defendants are charged that between 3rd September and 15th November 2017 they conducted an unregistered independent educational institution.
'It is accepted by the defence that the centre is a school in that it provides primary education and/or secondary education to five or more pupils of compulsory school age.
'It is clear too that the centre is not maintained by the local authority.
'The issues for the court are can it be sure that the centre is being operated as an unregistered independent educational institution providing full-time education and if so whether the defendants controlled its operation.
'Based on the defendant's own schedule, I find 27 children were being educated for 25 hours a week in September, October and November 2017.
'There would appear to have been a number of other children too who were being educated for more than 18 hours a week. I accept however that other pupils only came in for three days a week and others still did a couple of sessions a day.
'The hours of attendance at the centre for the 27 listed in Mr Talbi's schedule was 9am to 2pm.
'I have no doubt from the documents exhibited that the academic year at the centre is a ten month year. The fees being charged were £230 per month for primary school age pupils and £250 for secondary school age and envisaged a ten month year.
'I find that Fridays were a special religious day but according to the many examples of the timetable there were Arabic lessons taking place.
'Teachers were present and that Arabic was taught although I accept there may have been more informality on the Friday and parents may well have been present. Whether parents were present or not education was still being provided.
'I find that the children were given homework over and above their hours at school.
'In terms of Ms Bernhardt's role in the centre, Ms Bernhardt and Mr Talbi have done their dishonest best to mislead and persuade this court that she was not the head teacher of the school at the relevant time.
'I am sure she was the headteacher. She said as much to the inspectors; she did all the talking at the October 2017 inspection; I noted that when Ms Assefa needed to speak to someone about the second inspection she rang Ms Bernhard and not her husband.
'Having seen her give evidence I have no doubt that she was in joint control of the school'
The Al-Istiqamah Learning Centre was fined £100.
Nacerdine Talbi was orded to pay costs of £385 and Beatrix Bernhardt must pay costs of £485.
Both Talbi and Bernhardt were put on a three month curfew between 9pm and 6am.
Lynette Woodrow, from the CPS, said: 'This is the first prosecution of its kind against an unregistered school in England and Wales.
'The centre claimed it simply provided tuition to home-schooled children but using witness statements and photographic evidence collected by Ofsted inspectors, the CPS was able to prove this was not the case.
'It is a criminal offence to run an unregistered school and we will take steps to prosecute those responsible where there is the evidence to do so.'
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
Somali rapist, 29, whose deportation was halted by a mutiny of plane passengers has cost taxpayers £300,000 in legal and jail costs - and he still hasn't been kicked out of the UK
- Somalian rapist Yaqub Ahmed, 29, was being kicked out of Britain for his crime
- Sympathetic holidaymakers intervened at Heathrow and halted his deportation
- The Mail on Sunday estimates taxpayers have spent at least £300,000 on Ahmed – and that figure is rising as he is held in an Immigration Removal Centre
The Somali rapist whose deportation was halted by a mutiny of plane passengers demanding his release has cost taxpayers at least £300,000 in legal and jail costs.
Yaqub Ahmed, 29, was being kicked out of Britain for his sickening crime when sympathetic holidaymakers at Heathrow heard his protests and forced Home Office guards to take him off the jet.
Now The Mail on Sunday can reveal he has been involved in three separate criminal cases and three asylum tribunal hearings, all funded by Legal Aid, as well as spending at least five years in jail.
As a result, the MoS estimates taxpayers have spent at least £300,000 on Ahmed – and that figure is rising. He is still being held in an Immigration Removal Centre more than a fortnight after the failed deportation – at a cost of at least £1,500 – while officials try again to fly him out.
Ahmed was first granted indefinite leave to remain as a refugee in Britain after arriving from Somalia aged 14 in 2003.
Legal documents reveal that, in September 2007, he was sentenced to 21 days in a Young Offenders Institution for an assault on a police constable and fined for being drunk and disorderly.
Court and detention costs are likely to have topped £4,000.
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In August 2008, he was jailed for nine years for his role in the brutal gang-rape of a teenage girl.
Ahmed and three friends – one later killed fighting for IS in Syria – preyed on the vulnerable 16-year-old on a night out in the West End and lured her back to a flat in North London where they assaulted her.
Despite overwhelming evidence, Ahmed denied rape and his trial is likely to have cost close to £20,000. His years spent behind bars would have cost at least £150,000.
In jail, Ahmed asked an accomplice to smuggle a mobile phone in for him and he was given a six-month concurrent sentence in July 2015, costing another £1,000 in court costs alone.
In all three cases, Ahmed received Legal Aid. The Ministry of Justice said it could not say how much his lawyers – including a barrister in the rape case – were paid but those in similar long-running cases earned at least £100,000.
The Home Office told Ahmed in May 2010 he was liable to be deported after his release because of the seriousness of his offence, and in February 2015, he was finally issued with a deportation order.
His solicitors – Paragon Law in Nottingham – appealed against the decision. At the First-Tier tribunal, a judge dismissed Ahmed’s challenge.
Such hearings cost at least £1,000 excluding Legal Aid, say experts.
Ahmed’s lawyers then appealed, claiming Judge Colyer ‘conducted the hearing unfairly’ and that his reasoning was ‘confused and unclear’.
They particularly objected to the judge saying Ahmed was not a ‘credible witness’, that he had ‘significant doubts about the truthfulness’ of his story, and that Ahmed was ‘at risk of further reoffending’.
At another hearing before the Upper Tribunal in October 2016 – costing at least another £1,000 – judge Clive Lane ruled there had been an ‘error in law’ in the earlier hearing and ordered another case before the First-Tier Tribunal, which was due to be heard last December.
Yet before the hearing took place, Ahmed’s lawyers withdrew the case, for reasons unknown.
Ahmed was therefore put on a Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul on October 9, in an enforced removal officially estimated to cost £15,000, before passengers intervened.
Last night the Home Office said it could not comment on Ahmed’s case.