In the shadow of the memorial service of murdered Chief Constable Michael Todd who had been so closely connected with so called Anti-Terrorist operations both at Scotland Yard and the GMP this is worth considering...
The Greater Manchester Police have posted a curious note on their website "GMP Counter Terrorism Unit first year (Trafford)" which reports the results of the sterling work of GMP CTU, which now has more than 300 officers and staff.
It starts , somewhat confusingly (if this is their First Anniversary), "Since the creation of the GMP CTU, in July 2007" .. and then continues, " ... Omar Altimimi was sentenced to 9 years for terrorist offences and Yusuf Abdullah was sentenced to 3 years for proceeds of crime offences. In November 2007, Abdul Rahman pleaded guilty to terror offences and was sentenced to 6 years in prison. And in January 2008, two men, Steven Kerr Robinson and Wayne Cook, were jailed for a total of 12 years for terrorist offences."
It is worth considering what these cases are, as they may well be unfamiliar to many readers.
When this came to court at Manchester Crown Court in November 2007 the Times reported "Shop worker Abdul Rahman admits urging Muslims to jihad".
It appears that as a result of plea bargain Rahman had initially been charged with assisting another to commit or prepare a terrorist act, which carries a maximum life sentence on conviction.
The judge, his Honour Clement Goldstone QC, indicated that the defendant would only be jailed for a maximum of 6 years and this charge dropped if he pleaded guilty to 3 lesser charges to avoid a trial :
1. Possessing a letter which amounted to a “call to arms” from a friend who was fighting in Afghanistan (sent by his friend and former housemate Aslam Awan, 25, who was fighting in Afghanistan and is now banned from entering the UK)
2. Disseminating terrorist propaganda - the first person ever to be charged and convicted for this offence.
3. Aiding the breach of a control order ( he had helped a 22-year-old British man - who cannot be named coded as AK -) flee to Pakistan by paying his airfare. Rahman gave him £480 to flee the country. Before taking a flight to Lahore via Tehran, CCTV filmed AK at Birmingham Airport after he had ditched his usual traditional Muslim attire for Westernised clothing.
When arrested Rahman had a jiffy bag ready to send to Afghanistan containing two hunting knives and mobile phones. When police raided Rahman's house, they found computer discs of speeches given to crowds in Pakistan claiming "Allah is calling for jihad".
The report adds that Video footage of Rahman and two other men were released by Greater Manchester Police today, but this does not appear to have been produced as evidence in court.
The clips, recorded in the winter in the Lake District, show Rahman singing jihadi songs and giving a commentary as the two other men crawl on their stomachs through the snow as if they were Mujahideen in Afghanistan. The clips were found when police raided Rahman's home. See videos edited by GMP here Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 this looks more like a bunch of Asian lads fooling about in the snow playing cops 'n' robbers.
Rahman was reprimanded by the judge for grinning as he sat in the dock whilst the case against him was outlined. He came to the UK in September 2004 on a four-year student visa to study biotechnology at Dundee University, but quit the course after one day telling his tutors he had money problems.
Omar Altimimi & Yusuf Abdullah
The BBC first reported on this case on Friday, 7 July 2006, "Pair charged after terror raids " 8 addresses in Bolton had been raided on 27th June 2006 and as a result Omar Altimimi, 36, from Lansdowne Road, Bolton, was charged with four offences under the Terrorism Act 2000. Yusuf Abdullah, 29, of no fixed address, faced one charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act and a further charge under the Theft Act.
The BBC provided further explanation that Mr Altimimi's charges relate to the possession of articles for the purposes of terrorism, and the collection of information likely to be useful for terrorism purposes and that he also faced a charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
It also appears from a report of his trial at Manchester Crown Court in the International Herald Tribune that Altimimi was arrested in March 2006 on suspicion of money laundering, involving US$54,610 (€40,109) stolen from the Yemen Tourist Board. At the time of his arrest, Altimimi was attempting to withdraw funds transferred to him by Abdullah, police said. This was 7 weeks prior to the raids in Bolton.
The GMP reported (undated) "Man found guilty of terrorism offences" that the case started with a fraud investigation at the Nationwide Building Society in Bolton which involved the attempted Yemeni fraud.
It appears that Altimimi had multiple identities which he used fraudulently - Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Porter, head of the Greater Manchester Police Counter Terrorism Unit, said: "We will never know who Altimimi really is. He developed a range of identities, which would allow him to expand his terrorist activities. He is a congenital liar and has lied throughout this investigation." He had arrived in Britain from the Netherlands in 2002, and applied for asylum for himself, his wife and their three children claiming to be an Iraqi fleeing persecution.
2 computers had been seized at addresses in Lansdowne Road, and Eastbank Street in Bolton which were said to belong to Altimimi. These revealed terrorist material, much of it downloaded from a secret password protected Al-Qaeda Internet site. Details of this here at Manchester Evening News report 6/ 6/2007 "'Terror hoard' on dad's computer " - which would have filled 900 filing cabinets if printed out said the prosecution, making bombs, setting up terrorist cells etc.,
There was also material related to a job description for a role in Greater Manchester Police, application form for Bolton Council and for a teacher training position with Bolton Community College.
It became clear that Altimimi also had a number of different identities that he was using - by the end of the investigation three different names and eight bank accounts had been linked to Altimimi. One identity was this ...
Articles found in his shoe when arrested included an Immigration and Nationality Directorate card issued by the Home Office in the name of Iraqi, Abdullah Mahr Abou Hawas (above) , a Halifax debit card in the name of AHM Abdullah and a Co-op bank card in the name of Abou Hawas.
During the investigation officers carried out enquiries in 14 countries stretching from Scandinavia through to Middle East. A BBC video news report on video is available here
Yusuf Abdullah, 30, (also known as Nashwan Gassar) pleaded guilty to money laundering when on trial with Altimimi in July 2007 which related to the fraud on the Yemen Tourist Board about which the Nationwide Building Society had tipped the Police off .
The jury at Manchester Crown Crown found Atlimimi guilty on Wednesday 4th July of four counts of possessing material of use to terrorists, then convicted him Thursday 5th July of two further charges of the same offense and two counts of money laundering.
The following day Judge Maddison , Recorder for Manchester handed Altimimi a 9 year sentence and Abdullah 3 years. He added that Altimimi was "a sleeper for some sort of terrorist organisation, it is not known when, if and how you might have been called upon to play your part."
Although Tony Porter had said ""We will never know who Altimimi really is," the prosecution told the court that Altimimi was linked to terrorists in the Netherlands and to Junade Feroze, (The Blackburn car dealer arrested in his gold Mercedes) who had been sentenced the previous month to 22 years in prison for his part in a "dirty bomb plot" led by Dhiren Barot.
Tim Barnes QC prosecuting said “He is associated through an address in Rotterdam with Arab terrorists in Europe. The Crown can also prove that he sent a money order to Thailand to a man who was subsequently convicted in his absence of terrorist offences in France.”
Another defendant in the case known by the name of Bakhtiyar Berwiss also wanted in connection with the Yemen bank transfers absconded while on bail.
Steven Kerr Robinson & Wayne Cook
The BBC first reported on this obscure case on 7th May 2007 when Steven Kerr Robinson, 42, from Tyldesley, Greater Manchester, was due to appear appeared before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday 8th May charged with offences under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001.. Packages containing caustic soda were sent in the post to a councillor in Blackburn, Lancashire, and a journalist in Glasgow on 25 April.
At the trial at Manchester crown Court reported by the Daily Record (now removed)but cached here headlined "Poisoned Vodka SNLA Terrorist Gets 6yrs " Scott Robinson had admitted sending vodka bottles filled with lethal caustic soda to a journalist and a councillor at an earlier hearing. BBC report here
His co-accused and neighbour, Englishman Wayne Cook, 46, had denied the charges of using noxious substances to harm or intimidate but was found guilty.
The Court was told Robinson said he was acting under orders from a man (Adam Busby)who claims to be the leader of the Scottish National Liberation Army.
The judge told the pair: "What you did was to prepare packages into which you placed bottles, miniature vodka bottles, from which the vodka was removed and caustic soda placed.
"You then sent them through the post. One was sent to a lady, a journalist in Scotland, and another to a councillor on Blackburn-with-Darwen Council.
"The reason you did that was in furtherance of a campaign by the Scottish National Liberation Army. People are entitled to their views - they are not entitled to the sort of actions which that organisation carry out."
The court was told one of the vodka bottles, sent to councillor John Wright, was intercepted by Royal Mail. The other was received by journalist Myra Philp, (who was at the time executive news editor at Scottish Express Newspapers) who said after the verdict she had been the target of a campaign of SNLA harassment.
The prosecution claimed Cook, a neighbour of Robinson in Tyldesley, Greater Manchester, had become involved with the plot for revenge against Blackburn-with-Darwen Council after his son died in their care.
Counter-terrorist boss Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Porter said: "This was not some clumsy joke. Had anyone drunk the contents, they would, in all likelihood, have died." ..or put another way, if anyone receiving unsolicited a small bottle of vodka that had been inxpertly tampered with had drunk it without notincing it ddn't smell of vodka and tasted pretty damn awful ....
They both got six years each.
So there you have it, Abdul Rahman who absconded on a student visa and his wannabe mates larking about in the snow - and keeping a letter sent to him and bunging a mate on the run £500 quid. Why wasn't he returned to Pakistan when he dropped out before he beacame such a pain in the ass ?
Altimimi (?) and Abdullah. Evidently no-good criminals who were caught in a raid wait 7 weeks AFTER they are brought to the attention of the GMP Counter Terrorism Unit, as a result of action by alert Nationwide Building Society staff . Which gives another guy Bakhtiyar Berwiss the opportunity to do a runner and A & A ample time to remove anything of interest to Plod. Masses of agit-jihadi fillums and literature and petty fraud (the bit which they managed to uncover) - they got to visit 14 countries however, which will improve their knowledge of geography and different currencies if nothing else. Abdullah was in fact only prosecuted under Proceeds of Crime Act and a further charge under the Theft Act so he can not in any sense be called a terrorist.
Again, an evident failure of the asylum / immigration service to let Altimimi in the country and let him stay.
Robinson & Cook - Terrorists ? Dangerous lunatics, maybe. It is odd that these Bolton based terrists acted on behalf of the SNLA who want to reverse English immigration into Scotland and restore gaelic as the country’s national language
The results of 300 man years work plus (and plus a lot of overtime - luvvly jubbly sarge !) , and a wodge of taxpayers money ... either there is no terrist threat out there to worry about or there are plenty and these guys haven't a fucking clue about how to find them, never mind fit them up.
The cost ? Who knows ...and who cares ? This is the cost of the War on Terror.