Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 16:56 UK

Woman sentenced for jihad leaflet

Jihadist militants
The leaflet contained theological, political and historical commentary

A woman who wrote a leaflet encouraging people to carry out jihad, or holy war, has been sentenced to a community order at Manchester Crown Court.

Shella Roma, 29, of Oldham, had pleaded guilty to dissemination of a terrorist publication, and received a three-year order, with supervision for two years.

Roma was arrested after a photocopy shop employee was alarmed by a document she had produced, and alerted police.

The pamphlet contained an essay, "The Call", encouraging jihad.

The eight-page essay mentioned the 9/11 attacks and the war on terror, and repeatedly asked: "Will you go to Jihad (holy war)?"

It ended: "Jihad: the choice is yours."

The staff member at the business in Ashton-under-Lyne contacted police, who arrested Roma - a mother-of-one - on 31 January, 2008.

In the hands of vulnerable people, this document could have inspired them to cause harm
Det Ch Supt Tony Porter
Greater Manchester Police

Officers searching Roma's home found 137 of the 200 documents that were copied, but the remaining 63 have never been recovered.

Judge Clement Goldstone QC said Roma had "sought to distribute them in two ways, by leaving them in your home for anyone who wanted to help themselves too, and, more significantly, by giving them to your husband to distribute outside the mosque to which normal, practising Muslims had gone to pray".

Det Ch Supt Tony Porter, of the Greater Manchester Police Counter Terrorism Unit, said: "Roma was an isolated, self-motivated person, and not a professional propagandist, but in the hands of vulnerable people, this document could have inspired them to cause harm.

"This case shows how important it is for people to come forward and report any concerns about suspicious activity."

Print Sponsor


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific