Page last updated at 11:53 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Terror student Siddique's 'boredom' claim

Siddique said he had been daft and curious when he accessed the websites

The student released after one of his terrorism convictions was quashed says he looked at bomb-making videos only to find out "the other side of the story".

Mohammed Atif Siddique, 24, from Alva, Clackmannanshire, said he had downloaded the "freely available" material out of "boredom".

He told the BBC: "I couldn't really understand why possessing this material could be a terrorism act."

Siddique remains convicted of two other terrorism charges.

But Appeal Court judges found he had suffered a miscarriage of justice in relation to the most serious charge - that he was in possession of articles that gave rise to "reasonable suspicion" they were connected to terrorism.

The three judges, sitting in Edinburgh, overturned the conviction. He was freed on Tuesday.

This material is freely available on the internet and it's not hard to get hold of
Mohammed Atif Siddique

Siddique was jailed for eight years in October 2007 after a four-week trial in Glasgow.

He was found guilty of two charges under the Terrorism Act 2000, one under the Terrorism Act 2006 and a breach of the peace.

In his first broadcast interview, he told BBC Radio 5 live's Victoria Derbyshire his release had been "very emotional".

"It's great to be free. I had belief in the justice system that justice would prevail one day and I'm glad to see that day finally came through," he said.

Siddique defended his actions and said he downloaded material about bomb-making and weapons only "out of curiosity and boredom".

"This material is widely available anyway. It is freely available on the internet and it's not hard to get hold of," he said.

"On the CDs it does not tell you how to make a full bomb. The videos have been shown on television itself. Ninety per cent of it is in Arabic and I can't even understand Arabic.

"I was trying to find out the other side of the story... I wanted to find out the other side."

Siddique said he particularly wanted to find out more about the war on terror and what was going in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He later told BBC Scotland his plan now was to go back to university, get a job and "stay out of trouble".



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