TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Internet Terrorism Trial Judge Baffled by Terms Like 'Web Site'

Internet Terrorism Trial Judge Baffled by Terms Like 'Web Site'

Mark Trevelyan, Reuters (
Wed, 16 May 2007 13:30:15 -0500

By Mark Trevelyan

A British judge admitted on Wednesday he was struggling to cope with
basic terms like "Web site" and "Internet" in the trial of three men
accused of inciting terrorism via the Internet.

Judge Peter Openshaw broke into the questioning of a witness about a Web
forum used by alleged Islamist radicals.

"The trouble is I don't understand the language. I don't really
understand what a Web site is," he told a London court during the trial
of three men charged under anti-terrorism laws.

Prosecutor Mark Ellison briefly set aside his questioning to explain
the terms "Web site" and "forum." An exchange followed in which the
59-year-old judge acknowledged: "I haven't quite grasped the

Violent Islamist material posted on the Internet, including beheadings
of Western soldiers, is central to the case. In one video used as
evidence, one of the men, struggling to speak English, explains "I
chop head" as he demonstrates it.

Concluding Wednesday's session and looking ahead to testimony on
Thursday by a computer expert, the judge told Ellison: "Will you ask him
to keep it simple, we've got to start from basics for me to understand

Younes Tsouli, 23, Waseem Mughal, 24, and Tariq al-Daour, 21, deny a
range of charges under Britain's Terrorism Act, including inciting
another person to commit an act of terrorism "wholly or partly" outside

Tsouli and Mughal also deny conspiracy to murder. Al-Daour has pleaded
not guilty to conspiring with others to defraud banks, credit card and
charge card companies.

Prosecutors have told the jury at Woolwich Crown Court, east London,
that the defendants kept car-bomb-making manuals and videos of how to
wire suicide vests as part of a campaign to promote global jihad, or
holy war.

The trial continues.

Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited.

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