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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK
Terror jury Islamophobia warning
Alva arrest scene
Mr Siddique was arrested following a police operation in Alva
A jury in a three-week terror trial has been warned not to convict the accused through a "fear or alarm" of Islam.

Donald Findlay QC, defence counsel for Mohammed Atif Siddique, told the High Court in Glasgow that his client was merely researching Islamic terrorism.

The 21-year-old, from Alva in Clackmannnanshire, denies four terror charges and a breach of the peace.

The prosecution had earlier said Mr Siddique was not a researcher but "a wannabe suicide bomber".

In his closing speech, Advocate Depute Brian McConnachie QC referred to extremist material allegedly found on Mr Siddique's computer and dismissed the suggestion that he was carrying out research.

He told the jury: "This is not someone who is systematically carrying out research into Islamic politics and the difficulties facing Muslims in the Middle East, this is a wannabe suicide bomber."

This case is about intolerance, bigotry and hatred
Brian McConnachie QC
Advocate Depute

Mr McConnachie also told the jury to put aside any prejudices when considering their verdict.

He said: "Muslim extremists do not have a monopoly on intolerance, bigotry or hatred.

"Closer to home, the people of Glasgow are aware of the serious crimes committed in the name of religion.

"This case is not about white against Asian or Muslim against Christian - it is about intolerance, bigotry and hatred."

In his closing speech, Mr Findlay attacked a website run by terrorist expert Evan Kohlmann - who had given evidence against Mr Siddique.

The QC claimed that material on that website - such as the beheading of a US hostage - was the "most horrific ever shown to a jury".

He said the content was "worse" than that said to have been accessed by Mr Siddique.

You the jury have to be satisfied that the material he had was for a terrorist attack
Donald Findlay QC
Defence Counsel

He said: "Is it not legitimate that Mr Siddique can find out why young Muslim men like him act the way they do?

"It would not matter if he had 100 times the amount of material he had.

"You the jury have to be satisfied that it was for a terrorist attack."

Mr Findlay said his client had "said things that are distasteful".

"However, that does not make him a suicide bomber," he added.

Mr Siddique has been accused of possessing suspicious terrorism-related items including CDs and videos of weapons use, guerrilla tactics and bomb-making.

He has also been accused of collecting terrorist-related information, setting up websites showing how to make and use weapons and explosives, and circulating inflammatory terrorist publications.

A further charge of breach of the peace relates to claims that he showed students at Glasgow Metropolitan College images of suicide bombers and terrorist beheadings.

The jury is expected to retire to consider their verdict on Thursday, after hearing judge Lord Carloway's summing up.




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