- Younes Tsouli, 31, was jailed for 16 years for posting videos for Al Qaeda
- He was rearrested last year after prison guards found Al Qaeda magazine
- Hearing at Old Bailey last week cleared him of unlawfully possessing it
- He was due to be deported back to his native Morocco but appealed
- Applied for asylum under Human Rights Act, which states no one should be subjected to ‘torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’
Younes Tsouli, 31, was jailed for 16 years in 2007 for distributing bomb-making instructions and has used Human Rights Act to appeal against deportation
A jailed terrorist who wrote a letter from a British prison proclaiming jihadis as ‘heroes’ is trying to avoid deportation from the UK on human rights grounds.
Internet jihadi Younes Tsouli, 31 – who was once described as Al Qaeda’s most influential cyber-terrorist – was jailed for 16 years in 2007 for distributing bomb-making instructions as well as beheading videos on the internet.
Tsouli, who called himself ‘Terrorist007’, was posting the material for Al Qaeda in Iraq.
His prison term came to an end last November, but he was re-arrested and detained ahead of his release as prison officials found a copy of an Al Qaeda magazine in his cell.
A hearing at the Old Bailey last week cleared Tsouli of unlawfully possessing the material, and he was due to be deported immediately back to his native Morocco.
But he has appealed against his deportation on human rights grounds, applying for asylum to the UK under Article 2 of the Human Rights Act, which states no one should be subjected to ‘torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’.
It is believed that Tsouli had been active in the global cyber-jihadi scene since he moved to the UK to study IT at a London college in 2001.
The cyber-terrorist used to hack into respectable websites and use them as hosts for videos including the beheading of British hostage Ken Bigley and Americans Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg.
Tsouli set up a website called YouBombIt which he described as a ‘platform just like YouTube to post videos of bombings of Coalition forces’ in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He has set up another called DeadZionists, and was in the process of setting up a third called Islamic Terrorism, when police raided his basement flat in Shepherd’s Bush in 2005.
His websites and forums were being used by jihadis across the world to communicate.
In July last year, the prison authorities intercepted a letter Tsouli had written to his father in Arabic, where he urged his family to join the jihad in Syria. In it he wrote: ‘This is a letter of advice to those members of my family who will learn their lesson and I hope that they are among those whom Allah has opened their hearts to what is good.’
He quoted a saying of Mohammed, which said: ‘Allah gives rewards to those who go out for jihad out of conviction and belief in Allah and his prophets.
To those Allah will grant either victory or paradise.’
He also mentioned a recent religious ruling which was a ‘call to arms’ in Syria, adding: ‘Prepare for the war since its flames are rising.’
The letter was read out during last week’s hearing, where Tsouli was accused of possessing a copy of Inspire in his cell in September last year, two months after the letter was intercepted.
The court heard the forensic tests done on the magazine had revealed that it passed around the prison, as fingerprints belonging to a number of terrorist inmates – including Abdullah Ahmed Ali, the leader of the gang that tried to blow up airliners over the Atlantic – were found on it.
However, Tsouli was cleared as he argued the magazine formed part of legal material. He is being kept in detention while the Home Office fights his bid to stay.