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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 July 2007, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Four guilty over terror material
Scales of justice
Prosecutors said the material was to be used to encourage martyrdom
Three students and a schoolboy have been found guilty of possessing material for terrorist purposes.

Prosecutors had said the internet propaganda was designed to encourage Islamic terrorist martyrdom.

Schoolboy Mohammed Irfan Raja, now 18, and Bradford University students Aitzaz Zafar, 20, Usman Ahmed Malik, 21 and Akbar Butt, 20, were all convicted.

Awaab Iqbal, 20, was found not guilty on one count of possession, with the jury undecided on another count.

The judge gave the jury a majority direction on the count on which they were undecided.

They will continue their deliberations over the final charge against Iqbal, from Bradford, who was given provisional bail to return to court on Wednesday.

The four convicted are due to be sentenced later this week.

Computers searched

The university students were arrested after Raja - a London schoolboy at the time - ran away from home in February 2006.

He left a note for his parents saying he was going to fight abroad and they would meet again in heaven, the Old Bailey trial heard.

Raja had been communicating and exchanging material with the students on the internet, before going to stay with them.

But he returned home three days later after a telephone call in which his parents begged him to come back.

Raja, of Ilford, Essex, was convicted of two Terrorism Act charges of having articles for terrorism; Zafar, of Rochdale, Lancashire, was convicted of one charge; Malik, of Bradford, West Yorkshire of two charges; and Butt, of Southall, west London, found guilty of one charge.

He [Raja] was radicalised in his mind and intent on his course
Andrew Edis QC

The court was told their computers were searched and led to their arrests.

The trial heard police found material on their computers downloaded from the internet, and chatroom conversations said to be intended to encourage terrorism or martyrdom.

Among the items found was a film showing atrocities against Muslims around the world, aimed at encouraging martyrdom, the Old Bailey was told.

Prosecutors said the men also had a US military guide to terrorism and a suicide bombing manual.

The defendants denied having extremist views and some said they were researching ideology and other matters.

Jihad 'fantasy'

Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting, said the propaganda had led Raja to try to get to a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.

Mr Edis said: "Irfan Raja was not as firm in his purpose as he hoped he would be, and as the people in Bradford hoped he would be.

"When he wrote the letter and went to Bradford, he was radicalised in his mind and intent on his course."

He said Raja's family - whom he described as "orthodox Muslims" - were "absolutely beside themselves with worry and fear" when they found out what he was planning.

Raja told police that the letter he left "was just him fantasising about jihad" and he "wanted them to worry because he was unhappy at home".

The other defendants - all first-term students - watched jihadi videos together, the court was told.

They were "a group of people radicalising each other and becoming more and more interested in that material", Mr Edis said.






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