Wednesday 12 March 2008

Justice Defiled - the conviction of Khalid Khaliq

Despite reports that Khalid Khaliq denied the three charges which had been laid against him in May 2007, and had not entered a formal plea at his court appearance in August 2007, on the 10th of March 2008, Khalid Khaliq pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a document or record containing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. This was the possession of a CD containing an ‘al-Qa’ida training manual’, which was reportedly found in his "family home" in July 2005. The further charge of possession of information likely to be useful for terrorism - a book entitled "Zaad-e-Mujahid" ("Essential Provision of the Mujahid"), which had reportedly been found in the raid on Khaliq’s property in May 2007 was ordered to be laid on file and the judge ordered that Khaliq be found not guilty of the third charge; possessing a book entitled "The Absent Obligation -- and Expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula".

On Tuesday March 11th 2008 Khaliq, 34, was sentenced to sixteen months in prison.

Prosecutor David Farrell QC told the court the al-Qaeda training manual included a declaration of Jihad, an interview with Osama bin Laden and information about weapons and how to deal with being interviewed by police.

Source: BBC News

A report in the Yorkshire Evening Post also described the contents of the manual, which differ slightly from the above:

Khalid Khaliq, 34, admitted owning a CD containing techniques on assassination, espionage, torture and interrogation after it was found at his home in Tempest Road, Beeston, Leeds.

The court heard how the CD had originally been in Iqra learning centre and bookshop on Bude Terrace, of which Khaliq was a trustee, but was moved from there to his home nearby after the attack. The court also heard how material on the disc had been downloaded from an American website set up by the US Ministry of Justice following a trial in 2002.

Judge James Stewart criticised the decision to put the material on the internet. He said: "It is like putting pornography on a website when a man is accused of possessing or creating it."

Although Khaliq was in possession of the disc he had never actually downloaded the information onto his home computer. Khaliq claimed he didn't know its content.

Source: Yorkshire Evening Post

Who moved the CD from the Iqra to Khaliq’s house? According to a Daily Mail report, Khaliq had stated that the disc "had been brought to his home by "others", whom he refused to identify."

With regard to the unidentified "others" to whom Khaliq refers, it is common knowledge that CD and DVD production, along with other IT issues at the Iqra bookshop, were undertaken not by a Muslim but instead by a former Hells Angel and " IT man", Martin Gilbertson (pictured left). In interviews given to the media Gilbertson speaks of "the amount of time I spent editing" what newspapers described as "horror DVDs" between 2001 and 2004. Gilbertson happened to be working alongside a former elite Special Boat Service "anti-terrorist" operative, one Martin 'Abdullah' McDaid (pictured right) who, for some reason, "asked for high-security encryption for their computer systems so it would be hard even for government agencies to access e-mails." Quite why an ex-SBS operative might want to hide data from government agencies has never been revealed.

The Mail also reported how the judge, James Stewart, had said it was "extraordinary" that the American Department of Justice had seen fit to publish the terrorist booklet on the internet:

Officials took the precaution of removing a section on "bomb-making" but they allowed chapters on espionage, assassinations, torture and interrogation to remain, Leeds Crown Court was told.

The manual had been published on the U.S. site as part of the transcript of a 2001 terror trial under a freedom of information policy.

Source: Daily Mail

The irony of material on the CD being uploaded to the internet by the US government under the terms of 'freedom of information' and then deemed illegal to possess in this country is self-evident. It is also worth noting that in a 2005 article by Duncan Campbell; ‘The Ricin Ring That Never Was’ describes how an attempt was made to introduce an ‘al-Qa’ida training manual’ into the case:

The most ironic twist was an attempt to introduce an "al-Qaida manual" into the case. The manual - called the Manual of the Afghan Jihad - had been found on a raid in Manchester in 2000. It was given to the FBI to produce in the 2001 New York trial for the first attack on the World Trade Centre. But it wasn't an al-Qaida manual. The name was invented by the US department of justice in 2001, and the contents were rushed on to the net to aid a presentation to the Senate by the then attorney general, John Ashcroft, supporting the US Patriot Act.

Source: The Guardian

Additionally, oddly enough, the CIA produced 'Freedom Fighter’s Manual', which includes instruction on economic sabotage, propaganda, extortion, bribery, blackmail, interrogation, torture, murder and political assassination and the CIA produced 'Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual' which teaches how to torture people are both perfectly legal to download, possess and distribute. Are we to conclude that manuals teaching torture, assassination and interrogation are only acceptable when produced by the US, and only 'useful to terrorists' when in the possession of Muslims?

Worth factoring into the consideration are the words of the Assistant Professor of Political Economy at the University of Washington, Guido Giacomo Preparata, who, on page 21 of his book Conjuring Hitler - How Britain and America made the Third Reich writes of "the recent lurking 'threat' of Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda - a true 'Godsend' for America's imperial establishment", further noting, "As known, the evanescent Bin Laden and his lieutenants are from the start an invention of the CIA."

Moreover, less than a month prior to this trial, on February 13th 2008, five young men were freed on appeal having been convicted of very similar charges, including charges of possessing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. When quashing the convictions, the Lord Chief Justice said there was no proof of terrorist intent:

Lord Phillips said that while the men had downloaded such material, he doubted if there was evidence this was in relation to planning terrorist acts.

He said the prosecution had attempted to use the law for a purpose for which it was not intended.

Source: BBC News

FREE KHALID KHALIQKhalid Khaliq had come forward voluntarily to assist with the 7/7 investigation in Beeston in July 2005. This act of social responsibility is presumably how his property came to be searched in the first place. Despite his statement to the police that he did not support al-Qaida and was "shocked by the actions of the 7/7 bombers", despite character witnesses confirming that Khaliq was a "devoted, caring and loving" parent, who had given up work to be the sole carer of his children and did not advocate terrorism, the judge decided that Khaliq was a threat to society and merited a custodial sentence. Yet where is the evidence that Khaliq had the intent or means to commit an act of terrorism. Astonishingly, the judge even used the fact that Khaliq possessed a copy of the Terrorism Act as some kind of additional indictment against him - since when does the possession of government legislation equate to terrorist intent?

On February 13th 2008, Imran Khan; a lawyer for one of the freed Muslim students at the Court of Appeal said that the ruling would have a "significant impact":

He told BBC News: "Young Muslim men before this judgement could have been prosecuted simply for simply looking at any material on the basis that it might be connected in some way to terrorist purposes."

He said section 57 of the 2000 Terrorism Act had been written in such wide terms that "effectively, anybody could have been caught in it" but prosecutors would now have to prove such material was intended for terrorist purposes.

Source: BBC News

Evidently, the case has not had anything like the kind of impact that it should have; the conviction of Khalid Khaliq -- father and sole carer of three children, two girls aged 11 and eight and a five-year-old son, who has learning difficulties -- for possessing what seems, in actuality, to be mainly US and UK government information, is testament to that.

For further details on the 7/7 "investigation", the seven arrests and the three charges brought please see:


Shahid said...

Genius. Nobody does this kind of pointed expose and lateral connection in quite the way you do sir.

The Antagonist said...

Credit where it's due, the article is entirely a product of the J7 collective and particularly Kier's excellent ability to cut through the nonsense and tie together the important points of note.

I can only really lay claim to hinting at the unidentified "others" and indicting the US and UK ruling classes in the manufacture of the third reich via the Guido Giacomo Preparata quote.

Anonymous said...

This is a very well researched article,
It is good the J7 team are keeping on top of cases
like this because I don't know who else is.
The Khalid Khaliq case is extraordinary and it could have been even worse if they had persuaded someone else
to make allegations against him he could have been looking at eight years or maybe even life.
I thought of suggesting you contact Rough Justice,
Forgetting that the BBC had axed it. I doubt if there is enough independence left in the BBC to tackle a subject
that is so much a government policy.
I did take the liberty of emailing Private Eye with a link
to this article. I don't know what you think of private eye but they do cover government corruption. The only over magazine that might be worth contacting is Nexus people may think it is just a new age magazine full of UFO storeys. But it does tackle some tough stories with well written pieces. This story really needs to be more mainstream it is front page news little chance of them doing that I suppose. Next they will be arresting school children for making silly pro terrorist remarks in the school yard. They say every cloud has a silver lining, the more they stretch these anti-terror laws
and arresting people with less and less connection
with even giving support to countries being bombed
by the west. The sooner public reaction will turn against these laws and the politicians who make them.

Anonymous said...

I was reading again the details of this case and I noticed something not mentioned in the article.
The CD with the training manual was found shortly after July 7, 2005 bomb attack.
But the law making it illegal did not come in till after this time March 30, 2006.
Laws are not normally retrospective. So at the time he had this CD it was not illegal.
I would be am amazed if this was missed by the defence. If they did it must be grounds for a miss trial.
If the law is retrospective it would make it even more unjust.

Kier said...

Hi Anonymous and thanks for your suggestions & comments. As I understand it, legislation can be applied retrospectively as long as this is made clear in the legislation itself. Regarding Khalid Khaliq's case specifically though, he was charged under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000. This legislation of course was already in place when the CD and books were taken from his house on July 17th 2005. What isn't clear at all, is why almost two years went by before he was prosecuted, and why his arrest had to coincide with Sidique Khan's widow, her brother and their cousin all being subjected to pointless police harrassment.

Subsequent legislation to the 2000 Act, including the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 and the Terrorism Act 2006 appear to have simply augmented rather than superseded it.
The 'information' Khaliq possessed was official US Government information, uploaded freely to the internet by the US government and could have been downloaded by untold residents of the world who happen not to be Muslim, and acquaintances of Sidique Khan. How is such information justifiably 'illegal'? Who decides this, and on what basis? Most importantly, how are we to know what information is illegal to possess and what isn't?

The vague terms of the 2000 Act leave all of us vulnerable to finding we are suddenly terrorists for having CDs, books and documents in our houses that we didn't even know we ought not to have until the state throws us in jail. Being of good character, displaying no intent and having no means to commit an act of terrorism clearly won't save us, as this case clearly demonstrates.
We should probably all bear this in mind next time we visit Amazon to buy the al Qaeda Training Manual.

Anonymous said...

A Court of Appeal judgement, of 13th February 2008, relating to this case:

K v R

Khalid Khaliq's appeal was dismissed.

lwtc247 said...

It's been 15 months since he was sentenced, which means I guess, his disgraceful detention comes to an end next month. I wonder once he gets out, if there is any scope for legal action against 'the system' that contorted itself through and through to put in jail?

Perhaps J7T might ask him for an interview once he's released as part of an ongoing campaign to have some 'opposition ready' for the next time the corrupt governmenbt and legal system conspire to jail yet more innocents.

While bLiar, BuSh, Bumsfelt etc enoy spending their ill gotten millions.