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Report: Website helped UK terrorists communicate

Associated Press

LONDON (AP) – An Islamist website has spent months publishing letters written by Muslim extremists jailed for serious terror offenses, a British newspaper reported Sunday.

The Sunday Times says the now-defunct site carried dozens of letters written by Islamist radicals involved in what the paper described as “virtually every plot against Britain in recent years.”

The site was inaccessible Sunday _ the Times said it was pulled down after the paper contacted its administrator _ but cached versions of several letters were still available online, including one purportedly written by Roshonara Choudhry, the young student jailed in 2010 for stabbing a British lawmaker in an attack she says was carried out on behalf of “the people of Iraq.”

The handwritten letter, on what appeared to be official British prison stationary, captured Choudhry’s appreciation for what she said was the support she’d received from fellow Muslims.

“I thought everyone would condemn my actions,” she wrote in a letter addressed to someone she called “Brother Mohammed,” who she believed had been at her sentencing hearing. “It literally took my breath away when I heard your voices.”

Choudhry didn’t appear to express any remorse for the attempted assassination, recalling the “euphoria” she said she felt when she was sentenced.

“The security officers that were accompanying me kept asking me, ‘Why are you smiling? Why do you look so happy?'”

In an email, the Justice Ministry said that it wasn’t challenging the authenticity of the letters.

“Prisoners can send correspondence, but their mail is routinely monitored,” the ministry said in a statement. “Where it is inappropriate mail will be stopped.”

The ministry said its offender management system “recognizes the risks posed by extremist offenders and those who seek to radicalize others,” noting that high-security prisons had the help of a dedicated counterterrorism unit.

The site carried contact information for a man identified on the site as Abu Muhsina, who refused to answer any questions about the site or his role in it when called by The Associated Press.

He instead referred all questions to his lawyer, who didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.


Raphael Satter can be reached at:

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