May 17, 2009
A radical Muslim who dressed his baby daughter in a hat with “I love al-Qaeda” on it tried to firebomb the home of the publisher of a controversial novel about the Prophet Mohammed.
Ali Beheshti, 40, along with Abrar Mirza, 22, have admitted conspiracy to recklessly damage property and endanger life after they poured diesel through the letterbox of a publishing house in Islington, North London.
Abbas Taj, 30, a mini-cab driver, was found guilty at Croydon Crown court of conspiracy to firebomb the home of Martin Rynja, the publisher of The Jewel Of Medina. He was to be the getaway driver, but was stopped in his car and arrested by armed police near Angel Tube station in the early hours in September last year, just after they had set fire to the premises.
Beheshti’s 20-month-old daughter, Farisa, was pictured wearing the hat when he took her along to a protest against Danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammed and proudly called her “the youngest member of al-Qaeda”. He waved banners vowing to “Massacre those who insult Islam” and promising “Europe, your 9/11 will come!” During the protests in 2006 he called himself Abu Jihad — meaning holy war.
The three men began their attack when publisher Mr Rynja was preparing to release The Jewel Of Medina, a novel about the Prophet Mohammed and the life of his child bride, Aisha.
The trio were planning to spend the night at Regent’s Park Mosque, in North London, as part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but shortly after arrival they set out with “fire-making equipment” for the home of Mr Rynja…
The publication of The Jewel of Medina was cancelled by one major publisher in the United States over fears that it could offend Muslims.
Run that “religion of peace” line past me again…
April 14, 2009
One of Russia’s most famous statues of Vladimir Lenin has been bombed, leaving the Bolshevik revolutionary with a gaping hole in his rear.
The bronze statue, in the city of St Petersburg, was badly damaged before dawn on Wednesday, when the blast blew a hole in Lenin’s coat. No-one was hurt in the attack, the motive for which was unknown.
The statue, outside the Finland Station, marks the Bolshevik leader’s return from exile in April 1917.
“Today at 0430 [0030 GMT] there was an explosion at the Lenin monument at the Finland Station in the city centre,” a spokesman for the Saint Petersburg branch of the Russian emergency situations ministry told the AFP news agency.
“As a result of the explosion a crater of 80-100cm [31-39in] appeared on the monument,” he added.
Lenin gave a speech at the railway station after his return from exile. Later that year he would lead the revolution that overthrew the government and would take the Communists to power for more than 70 years.
- BBC News
April 12, 2009
Police are continuing to search 10 properties across the north-west of England in connection with an alleged planned terror bomb attack. They have found pictures of popular Manchester shopping centres and a nightclub, the BBC has learned.
Twelve men – 11 of them Pakistani, and most of them students – are still being questioned over the alleged plot. Gordon Brown and Pakistan’s president are “committed to working together” to combat terror, says Downing Street.
Although the police previously insisted there was no intelligence pointing to any specific targets, sources have told the BBC photographs of four popular Manchester locations were recovered during searches. These were the Arndale and Trafford Centre shopping complexes, Birdcage nightclub and St Ann’s Square.
- BBC News
I can remember the days when Britain was a net exporter of crime…
March 24, 2009
A man’s leg has been found on farmland in Hertfordshire. Hertfordshire Police said the area had been cordoned off after the discovery of the left leg on Sunday afternoon.
A police spokeswoman said a local resident made the discovery near the A507 at Cottered. She said officers were working to identify the remains.
Forensic officers were brought in to examine the scene and an investigation has been launched by Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit.
The spokeswoman said: “Detectives are looking into every possibility as to why the remains came to be there.” She said efforts to identify the remains were in their “early stages”.
- BBC News
March 17, 2009
An Iraqi football player has been shot dead by a spectator as he was about to score an equalising goal.
The shooting happened in the last minute of a game between two local rivals on Sunday, police say.
The striker was shot in the head during the match in the city of Hilla, according to local security officials.
- BBC News
For those not familiar with Scottish soccer, ‘old firm’ supporters are followers of Glasgow-based football clubs Rangers and Celtic. Usually they’re too busy shooting each other to go for the players.
March 12, 2009
I’ve heard they can predict a social predisposition for criminal behaviour pretty early, but under a year-old seems to be pushing it.
A baby had its details held on the controversial DNA police database, Jacqui Smith has confirmed.
The home secretary said the youngest person to have a DNA profile held on the database was less than a year old and the oldest was over 90.
It is understood the sample would have been taken to eliminate the baby’s DNA from a crime scene…
In December the European Court of Human Rights ruled the UK should not indefinitely retain the DNA and fingerprint records of people who were not convicted of a crime.
Following that ruling, Ms Smith announced changes to the way the database operated – and said the government would take “immediate steps” to remove the DNA profiles of children under 10 from the database.
The baby’s profile is understood to have been taken before the changes were announced.
Since then DNA profiles of children under 10, taken with consent for “elimination purposes” – to compare with samples taken at crime scenes – are deleted, the government says.
- BBC News
February 25, 2009
In his first major speech as shadow home secretary, Chris Grayling said those who break curfews “should expect to find themselves in the cells”. Police would apply for a court order to “ground” youths for up to a month. He also said police should be able to take youngsters caught misbehaving to stations and call their parents.
The speech to the Local Government Association was his first major speech since becoming shadow home secretary in January’s Tory reshuffle.
He said tough action was needed to stamp out anti-social behaviour and said 10-year-olds caught causing trouble should be “sent home to bed”.
Should the Conservatives win power at the next general election, he said: “I will instruct our police to remove young troublemakers from our streets altogether, not just move them on to disrupt a different street.”
- BBC News
That’s right, the punishment for kids roaming the streets at night is …(drum roll please)… to confine them to the homes it’s not been possible to keep them inside in the first place. Nice!
February 18, 2009
Fifteen crew members on a South African Airways (SAA) flight have been arrested after cocaine with a street value of £250,000 was seized at Heathrow.
The arrests were made by UK Border Agency officers at the London airport.
They uncovered five kilos (11lbs) of the Class A drug in a piece of baggage on the flight from Johannesburg.
Last month, 15 other SAA crew members were arrested after cocaine and cannabis was uncovered at Heathrow in a separate incident.
Obviously, drugs are habit forming. From January 21st…
Fifteen airline crew members have been bailed after officials at Heathrow airport seized cannabis and cocaine with a street value of £310,000.
The South African Airways staff, including three pilots, were arrested on Tuesday after 50kg (110lbs) of cannabis was found in baggage.
A further search uncovered 4Kg (8.8lbs) of cocaine, worth £160,000.
The crew from the SA 234 Johannesburg flight have been released pending further inquiries.
- BBC News
February 7, 2009
A milkman who supplied cannabis to customers to ease their aches and pains has walked free from court…
An unusual feature of the case was that Holding “wasn’t making much of a profit” and made more of a profit on his milk round.
He said his oldest client was 92 and added: “Word had got out that he was a man who could supply cannabis to those of a certain age with aches and pains and he misguidedly believed he was providing a public service.”
Mr Holden said Holding sold the drug far below its street value, selling one-eighth for £4.10 as opposed to the £10 it would normally fetch.
- BBC News
December 6, 2008
Karen Matthews, the mother of nine-year-old Shannon, has been convicted of kidnapping her own daughter.
Matthews, 33, and her co-accused Michael Donovan, 40, were found guilty of kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice…
The trial at Leeds Crown Court heard the pair kept Shannon “drugged, subdued and hidden from the public” so they could claim £50,000 in reward money.
- BBC News
Hat-tip to Skepticlawyer, who has referred to the plot as “resorting to Baldrick’s book of Cunning Plans”.
A detailed Panorama documentary on the case “The Mother of All Lies” is available to view online until 9pm Thursday 11th December (GMT).