On 02/24/2006 Mohammed-Irfan Raja, 17, from Ilford, Essex left his home leaving behind for his family a note saying: “the situation is such that you will live another 30 years, maybe 40 years. When death will befall you, maybe then you will appreciate what I have done now”, insinuating that he was going to fight abroad and they would meet again in heaven. His distraught parents called the police. He caught a bus to West Yorkshire as part of a plan to travel to Pakistan for terrorist training.

Mohammed-Irfan Raja was communicating and exchanging material on the internet with four students in Bradford University via a like-minded American “brother”, called Ali. Ali, in New Jersey, had pointed him in the direction of the Bradford students who were planning also to go to Pakistan to train for the war in Afghanistan.

The four students were: Aitzaz Zafar, born in 1987, Usman Ahmed Malik, born in 1986, Akbar Butt, born in 1987 and Awaab Iqbal, born 1987, all were born in UK, students from Metropolitan London and Bradford University . 

Mohammed-Irfan Raja went to stay with them and following the note he left at home the police arrested all five suspects on 03/03/2006.

None of the four Bradford students: Aitzaz Zafar, Usman Ahmed Malik, Akbar Butt and Awaab Iqbal had plans to commit attacks in the UK, some of them had downloaded technical information on bombs and portions of what the police described as an Al Qaeda training manual.

The students were charged for possessing material for terrorist purposes and for inciting, through the web, young Muslims to commit martyrdom (a synonym for suicide attacks) by distributing a film showing atrocities against Muslims around the world, aimed at encouraging martyrdom.

On 07/24/2007 the defendants were found guilty on most of the charges. On 07/26/2007  Mohammed-Irfan Raja was semtenced to two yeras in youth detention, Aitzaz Zafar,  Akbar Butt and Awaab Iqbal were sentenced to three years imprisonment and Usman Ahmed Malik received 27 months in jail.

On 02/13/2008, the Court of Appeal quashed their convictions and ordered their release (aee also the case of Pa-Modou Jobe ).


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