Cyberterrorists Sentenced in London; Made Online Threats against the U.S.

By Maddy Sauer

Jul 5, 2007 10:51am

Three men, including one of the United Kingdom’s most notorious cyberterrorists, were sentenced in London today for inciting terror over the Internet. One of the men provided a car bomb recipe to someone who claimed that he wanted to attack the United States. 23 year-old Younis Tsouli, known online as "Terrorist007," received a message from a user in his extremist chatroom on February 12, 2005, which read: ‘We are 45 doctors and we are determined to undertake jihad and take the battle inside America." The message went on to say, "The first target which will be penetrated by nine brothers is the naval base which gives shelter to the ship Kennedy." Prosecutors believe this threat refers to the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, a 1,050-foot-long decommissioned aircraft carrier at Mayport Naval Base in Jacksonville, Florida. The message also said that other targets near the naval base would be hit including "clubs for naked women which are opposite the First and Third units." The plotters wanted to use six Chevrolet GT vehicles and three fishing boats for the attack. Tsouli replied, "He needs the recipe for making car bombs," and the instructions were supplied over the internet. Do you have a tip for Brian Ross and the Investigative Team? A plot against a US base in Virginia and an attempt to free inmates in Guantanamo were also discussed on the online forum. The FBI said today that these threats have already been thoroughly investigated and that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security consider them not to be credible.
Despite the similarities in method and the claim that the plotters were a group of doctors, prosecutors do not believe that these cyberterrorists are connected to the suspects in the recent thwarted attacks in London and Glasgow. Tsouli, a Moroccan, and his co-defendants Waseem Mughal, a British born citizen with a degree in biochemistry, and Tariq Al-Daour, who was born in the UAE and later granted British citizenship, were all arrested back in October 2005. On their computers, investigators found hordes of extremist material including bomb-making videos, martyrdom films, and footage of hostages being beheaded in Iraq. The prosecutor in the case, Mark Ellison, said the group’s websites and chatrooms distributed the material to online users all over the globe. "The point is these websites were being visited in significant numbers and people were getting access to material," said Ellison. "Putting it bluntly, the publication enterprise that this represented was successful. This material was being peddled out with its call inciting people to join jihad." Today, Justice Peter Openshaw sentenced Tsouli to 10 years in jail and recommended his deportation at the end of his sentence. Mughal was jailed for seven and a half years for the same charge of incitement of an act of terrorism, and Al-Daour for six and a half years. All of the men pleaded guilty to their charges earlier in the trial. This post has been updated. Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage.

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