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Last Updated: Friday, 17 March 2006, 18:33 GMT
Terror supplier gets nine years
Mohammed Ajmal Khan
Mohammed Ajmal Khan admitted directing a terrorist organisation
A man has been jailed for nine years after admitting directing a terrorist organisation, including providing weapons and funds to the group.

Mohammed Ajmal Khan, 31, from Coventry, received an eight-year term for his involvement with the group fighting against India in Kashmir.

He was sentenced to a further year for contempt of court.

Mr Justice Fulford, at Snaresbrook Crown Court, east London, called for longer maximum terms in such cases.

Mr Fulford said Khan was a person of authority in Lashkar-e-Toiba - now known as Jammat-ud-dawa and banned in the UK - who could call on millions of pounds raised by UK supporters.

"You, Mohammed Ajmal Khan, in my view, are a committed terrorist," he said.

"I am of the view that greater maximum sentences are needed to enable judges to reflect more realistically the gravity of terrorism which does not need me to say is of great public concern."

It sends a clear message to anyone prepared to train as a terrorist or support terrorism
Peter Clarke
Scotland Yard

He added: "Terrorism is one of the undoubted evils of our age.

"It profoundly affects countless numbers of innocent, law-abiding people both directly and indirectly.

"The toll in lost and shattered lives, the economic consequences and the general misery that follows each and every terrorist outrage means that anyone who lends him or herself to this kind of activity has put themselves in my view in one of the most serious if not the most serious criminal category."

Contempt

Khan, of Ransom Road, Coventry, had admitted "directing a terrorist organisation" at an earlier hearing.

The charge said that between 29 March 2001 and 1 March 2005 Khan directed the activities of an organisation concerned in the commission of acts of terrorism.

Khan was also sentenced to one year in jail for contempt of court, to run consecutively. It related to his failure to answer questions during the cross-examination of Firzana Khan, aged 41, of Broad Street, Coventry.

As part of the same case, she pleaded guilty to three charges of mortgage fraud and was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

Trained in violence

Peter Clarke, head of Scotland Yard's Anti Terrorist Branch, said Mohammed Ajmal Khan was "a terrorist" who had been trained in violence.

"He went to great lengths to buy terrorist equipment, some of which could well have been used against British forces. However, we might never know," he said.

He added that Mohammed Ajmal Khan's conviction was "very important".

"It sends a clear message to anyone prepared to train as a terrorist or support terrorism that they can expect to be prosecuted," he said.


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