Sister of two brothers who plotted to blow up the London Stock Exchange jailed for having Al-Qaeda terror manual on her mobile phoneRuksana Begum, 22, has been jailed for one year after editions of an Al-Qaeda magazine were found on her phone in JulyHer brothers Gurukanth Desai and Abdul Miah, were jailed earlier this year for their parts in a plot to attack the London Stock Exchange
21:49 GMT, 6 December 2012
A young graduate whose brothers are serving prison sentences for planning a terrorist attack on the London Stock Exchanged, has been jailed for downloading Al-Qaeda terrorist material in her mobile phone.
Ruksana Begum, 22, who has a first-class degree in accountancy, had two editions of Al-Qaeda's Inspire magazine on her phone, including articles such as 'Targeting the populations of countries that are at war with the Muslims'.
Ms Begum's brothers, Gurukanth Desai, 30, and Abdul Miah, 25, were sentenced to 12 and 16 years respectively for their part in a plot to attack the London Stock Exchange, The Old Bailey heard today.
Brothers: Ms Begum claimed to have downloaded the editions of Al-Qaeda's 'Inspire' magazine to understand the convictions of her brothers Gurukanth Desai, 30, left, and Abdul Malik Miah, 25, right
Ms Begum had just married when she moved to the capital in June, a mere month before anti-terrorist officers raided an address where she was staying in east London.
Ms Begum, who lived in Cardiff with her family prior to her marriage, was sentenced to one year in prison today, having plead guilty last month to possessing material which was likely to be useful to someone committing or preparing an act of terrorism.
Ms Begum, of north London, appeared with only her eyes visible beneath a black veil to be sentenced after being remanded in Holloway prison.
Kate Wilkinson, prosecuting, said: 'These items contained both instructional and ideological material. The magazines are in English and are targeted at Muslims living in the West.
‘They contain two types of material: firstly, material which is designed to make the reader support, fund, or join the Jihad, and particularly to encourage the Western reader to attack the nation where he lives.
‘Secondly, the magazines provide practical guidance on how to commit acts of terrorism.’
Verdict: Ms Begum was sentenced today to 12 months in prison at The Old Bailey, pictured
Begum graduated with a first class degree in Accountancy from Cardiff University this year, and has applied for a masters at the same institution.
A paper copy of the South Wales Echo
newspaper, whose front page on February 2 this year announced the
conviction of her brothers of terrorist offences, was also found when police raided the London address.
Forensic experts analysed the contents of the memory card on Ms Begum's mobile phone and found it contained two copies of Al-Qaeda propaganda magazine ‘Inspire’, along with traces of other literature that had been deleted.
STOCK EXCHANGE PLOT
Abdul Miah, 25, was jailed for 16 years and 10 months and Gurukanth Desai, 30, for 12 years after they pleaded guilty to the plot at Woolwich Crown Court in February this year.
They were part of a group of nine al-Qaeda inspired terrorists who planned to blow up the London Stock Exchange during a Christmas bomb blitz.
Other potential targets for 'Mumbai style' attacks included the London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, The Palace of Westminster, and the home address of Mayor Boris Johnson.
Cardiff brothers Desai and Miah had previously tested a pipe bomb after reading Inspire which contained a recipe 'Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom'.
Issue 8 included an article entitled: ‘Targeting the populations of countries that are at war with the Muslims’, alongside interviews of Al-Qaeda recruits.
It also showed readers how to use handguns, along with a guide on how to convert motorbike alarms into remote control detonators for explosives.
The following issue lists ‘important enemy targets’ in the US and other Western countries, including stock exchanges, airports, famous people, and ‘anywhere where Jews gather’.
Included in the magazine are instructions on how to start wildfires by using a timer from a washing machine to help build an ‘ember bomb’.
The court heard the Forensic Explosives Laboratory, a division of the Ministry of Defence, had analysed the instructions and concluded they were ‘accurate and relatively easy to follow.’
Burkha clad Begum was jailed at the
Old Bailey today but has been on remand for 141 days and could be free
in just under six weeks.
Hossein Zahir, defending, said Begum
downloaded the material a few weeks before the raid because she wanted to
understand why her brothers had taken the path they had.
He said: 'She was confident that her brothers were innocent and they would be acquitted. Then they pleaded guilty.
'She accessed this material, which is
easily accessible, before coming to London to understand the background
and ideology which led to her brothers' incarceration.
'She is an intelligent and articulate young woman who does not share the views of others who do not care.'
Terrorist plot: Ms Begum's two brothers were jailed in February this year after pleading guilty to part-taking in planning a terrorist bomb attack on the London Stock Exchange
Judge Mr Justice Fulford called Ms Begum a 'good Muslim' and said there was nothing to suggest that Begum was herself involved in terrorist activity.
He added: 'Instead, this defendant with other members of her family, was devastated by the arrest and later imprisonment of her brothers for serious terrorist offences.
'The family, which was previously respected in the community where they lived in Cardiff, were ostracised.
Mr Justice Fulford said he accepted that Ms Begum had downloaded the magazines in order to explore and understand the charges which her brothers faced, but that material which can aid a terrorist and serious offences will always carry a prison sentence.
Passing sentence, he said: 'It goes without saying this defendant’s criminality is not
necessary increased by the guilt of her brothers.
'But she is clearly moving in the
milieu and that that some of those close to her have serious Jihadist
outlook and certainly as far as her two brothers are concerned,
'That connection has caused me to
scrutinise carefully whether she is a fellow traveller in the sense she
supports those who commit serious crimes for ideological or religious
But he noted when her brothers were
arrested at their Cardiff home in 2010 her laptop was seized but there
was no evidence she had any terror material or that she was part of
demonstrations or participated in online Jihad chat-rooms.