Rettssalen eksploderte i protester da 21 år gamle Roshonara Choudhry ble funnet skyldig og dømt til livsvarig fengsel for drapsforsøket på parlamentsmedlemmet Stephen Timms. Choudhrys angrep på Timms regnes for å være det første Al Qaida-inspirerte forsøket på å drepe en politiker på britisk jord.
Etter at dommen var avsagt begynte en gruppe menn blant publikum å rope «Allahu akbar», «Briter, dra til helvete» og «Forbann dommeren». Utenfor rettslokalet ble det også avholdt en demonstrasjon til fordel for Choudhry:
Choudhry knifed East Ham MP Mr Timms as he held a constituency surgery at the Beckton Globe community centre in east London on May 14 after watching online jihadi sermons by US-born extremist Anwar al-Awlaki.
Mr Justice Cooke, sentencing Choudhry, said: ‘You said you ruined the rest of your life. You said it was worth it. You said you wanted to be a martyr’.
The judge said Choudhry would continue to be a danger to Members of Parliament for the foreseeable future.
The judge said that if Choudhry had succeeded in killing Mr Timms he would have given her a whole-life sentence, meaning she would never be released.
He told her: ‘You intended to kill in a political cause and to strike at those in Government by doing so.
‘You did so as a matter of deliberate decision-making, however skewed your reasons, from listening to those Muslims who incite such action on the internet.
‘You are an intelligent young lady who has absorbed immoral ideas and wrong patterns of thinking and attitudes.
‘It is not only possible, but I also hope that you will come to understand the distorted nature of your thinking, the evil that you have done and planned to do, and repent of it.
‘You do not suffer from any mental disease. You have simply committed evil acts coolly and deliberately’.
Her sentence came after Britain’s security minister urged the U.S. to shut down websites hosting Al Qaeda videos.
Baroness Neville-Jones said websites which try to radicalise members of the public would ‘categorically not be allowed in the UK’ and would be torn down.
Thousands of postings featuring Awlaki’s videos are available to view online.
In one sermon, entitled 44 Ways To Support Jihad, he says: ‘Jihad today is obligatory on every capable Muslim’.
The Home Office has confirmed that pressure is being put on the White House to remove the sermons.
In private comments to the Brookings Institute in Washington, obtained by The Daily Telegraph, Lady Neville-Jones said: ‘When you have incitement to murder, when you have people actively calling for the killing of fellow citizens and when you have the means to stop that person doing so, then I believe we should act.
Anwar al-Awlaki has used his personal website to encourage Muslims around the world to kill US troops in Iraq
‘Those websites would categorically not be allowed in the UK.
‘They incite cold-blooded murder and as such are surely contrary to the public good.
‘If they were hosted in the UK then we would take them down but this is a global problem.’
Student Choudhry told detectives she attacked Mr Timms as a ‘punishment’ and ‘to get revenge for the people of Iraq’.
After her arrest she was revealed to be in possession of a hit list of other politicians who had voted for the war.
The 21-year-old was believed to have been acting alone after becoming radicalised watching online sermons by Awlaki, who has been linked to the cargo plane bomb plot sent from Yemen.
She had been a moderate Muslim student looking forward to a career in teaching before watching the videos.
Awlaki is also thought to be behind a mass shooting at a US army base in Fort Hood, Texas, as well as the failed Deroit underpants bomb plot on Christmas Day last year.
The court heard that Choudhry was a high-flying university student at King’s College London who had hoped to become a teacher but dropped out weeks before carrying out the attack.
English language lecturer Alan Fortune said she was an outstanding student who had been expected to achieve a first-class honours degree, and added: ‘The world was her oyster’.
Choudhry lived at home with her parents, who were not particularly religious and said to be devastated at her actions, and her four younger siblings.
Today, wearing a black headscarf, she spoke only to confirm her name when she appeared by videolink.
She sat placidly, blinking behind her glasses, as she watched proceedings on a screen in front of her.
Some of the 11 jurors who came back to court to hear the sentencing craned their necks to get their first glimpse of the woman they had already tried and convicted in her absence.
She did not appear for the trial because she refused to recognise the jurisdiction of the court.
After the stabbing, Mr Timms was given first aid before being taken to the Royal London Hospital.
He had suffered two small lacerations to the left of his liver, and a small perforation of the stomach – injuries which could have been life-threatening due to possible loss of blood and infection had he not been treated.
The judge expressed his best wishes to Mr Timms, saying he continued to represent his constituents faithfully ‘albeit with heightened security’, and referred to the MP’s Christian beliefs.
He said: ‘I understand that he brings to bear his own faith, which upholds very different values to those which appear to have driven this defendant.
‘Those values are those upon which the common law of this country was founded and include respect and love for one’s neighbour, for the foreigner in the land, and for those who consider themselves enemies, all as part of one’s love of God.
‘These values were the basis of our system of law and justice and I trust that they will remain so as well as motivating those, like Mr Timms, who hold public office’.