Feeds

back to article Jailed terror student 'hid' files in the wrong Windows folder

Careless use of Windows folders cost a Scottish student a lengthy prison stretch today, as an Edinburgh High Court Judge sentenced Mohammed Atif Siddique to eight years for possession of terrorism-related items. During his trial the jury had been told by Michael Dickson, a forensics analyst for the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

uk.gov

Welcome to Britain. Yes we've left our common sense else where.

O I can't even be bothered anymore.

I feel so much safer - thankyou o mighty and intelligent security forces.

0
1
Stop

Good grounds for appeal, I think

"Given that you were providing internet access to what are admittedly terrorist publications, it is difficult to see what else was intended other than the encouragement etc of terrorism"

He wasn't "providing internet access to", and as to "what else was intended" how about comment (as in 'fair use') ?

Is the judge going to go after Google as well now then ?

0
1
Flame

Jihadi Muppet

An unrivalled Jihadi master of deceipt. Putting his files in the windows/options folder. This being the computing equivalent of putting your money in your shoes when you go for a swim at the beach, and I don't mean just IN the shoe, I mean right up near the toes because noone ever looks there!

Seriously, I can't believe they wasted so many resources on this guy. Obviously another jihadi clown. I'd feel better if they caught someone who was making a dimethylmercury aerosol dispenser. Actually no I wouldn't feel better.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Muppet

Leaving aside the question of whether he was innocent or guilty, you've got to admit, that looks very suspicious (and bloody stupid).

Hiding things in the Windows directory /will/ conceal it from casual inspection, obviously he wasn't expecting professionals to inspect it, or else he'd have encrypted them (on a micro-SD card or something he could swallow if the police arrive), but it's also not the sort of place you'd casually save things into, whether your interest was innocent curiosity or something more sinister.

The website thing... well, to be fair, that was stupid.

"Siddique did this simply by linking from his web site, Al Battar, to two sites containing instructions on weapons, explosives, terrorism and Jihad"

Whether or not you're involved, linking directly to sites like that is bound to bring you the wrong sort of attention.

"along with 25 mobile phones and another 19 SIM cards"

Unless he's going to claim he was running an eBay shop, that's another very suspicious activity. I'd believe anything up to 5 or 6 for a home user that's tech-supporting a large company, but 25? How many people live there?

Red-top outrage or not, I don't have a lot of sympathy for the guy. If he is innocent of everything, I'd love to hear the reasons behind his actions...

1
0
Anonymous Coward

The mind boggles

"...Some 34 computers and hard drives were examined. More than 5,000 computer discs and DVDs were removed, along with 25 mobile phones and another 19 SIM cards..."

All from the one property? Was Siddique operating a mobile phone shop from home? And repairing computers?

Or were the plod just fishing in neighbours' houses?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Appeal

Given that the prosecution don't have to disclose all evidence to the defence in Scotland (yes really) this is another appeal waiting to happen.

The Lockerbie "bomber" (Al-Megrahi) will walk free later this year due to the fucked up Crown Office in Scotland and their habit of "manipulating/forgetting" evidence. It is endemic in the system which is incredibly biased towards the Crown Office.

0
1
Anonymous Coward

you will...

feel the fear....

That's an order.

(I think I'll post anonymously)

0
0
Black Helicopters

Racism and religious hatred in the system?

So, if a white, christian, person where to be found with this material, a vicar for instance, would they have got off?

I ask because it seems to me that having "an interest in terrorism" isn't an offence in this country, and that linking to websites of questionable individuals to show their tactics and views probably isn't either. So, because of this guy's ethnic background (for want of a better way of putting it) he's suddenly guilty?

If that's not the case, and anyone with this type of material on their hard-drives of websites, even if they're just for information and in opposition, is breaking the anti-terror laws then I'd better give mine the once over with an eraser -- just in case.

If you don't see another post from me, I'll be taking a holiday to a helper country at your expense -- courtesy of our great leaders.

0
1
Black Helicopters

IE phoned home

As soon as I finished reading the article, Internet Explorer crashed and told me it wanted to report the whole thing back to Microsoft...

Black helicoptor for one please

0
0
Unhappy

Justice my arse

This man has been sent to jail for being an idiot... which is unfortunate, I really don't think that juastice has been served though.

If you've followed the trial, most of his behaviours seem to have been concerned with getting attention; maybe very misplaced behaviours and perhaps he needed a quiet slap round the head, but this length of sentence seems a little excessive.

I guess a subtitle for the trial could have been "Teen sent to jail for 8 years for over-zealous teenage rebellion", or even "Teen jailed for being stupid", given how many other teens could have the same subtitles it's disappointing.

0
0
Thumb Down

So now it's a crime

To own materials which 'might' be of use for terrorist purposes.

Presumably this would include various 'Janes' publications, historical military texts, books on tactics or strategy particularly for guerilla tactics, most chemistry text books beyond GCSE level, etc...

What a farce.

0
1

Hey, no fair!

I haven't got a c:\windows\options folder. Where am I supposed to store my seditious materials? I have a picture of Bin Laden and a copy of a Jamie Oliver cookbook. I'd better make this an anonymous post...

0
0
Paris Hilton

Busted

Where am I gonna hide my porn collection now?

0
0
Alert

RE: Muppet

So he's not that computer literate and figure being the ethnicity he is even having a casual interest in such things he'd better hide them incase someone accused him of being a nutter.

Also we don't know how his website was worded - he could've been discussing the motives of terrorists (as his defence) and said somehting along the lines of look at the strong viewpoints of these assholes.

Not saying this is the case but it's quite easy to jump the gun when not in full knowledge of the facts and lets face it one fact would be the cops after spending so much money will have to twist it anyway possible to get some sort of conviction and therefore vindication for spending so much money.

0
1
Anonymous Coward

He should have used Truecrypt

He should have used Truecrypt: http://www.truecrypt.org.

0
0

Fairtrade One Cup Filters

errr.... just wondering, but where would you put your Jihad stuff on a Linux box?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Listen I'm no fan of the War on Terror

But to the first poster, if you think he's innocent then I suggest, get apss 6 form before subjecting us to your worldly analysis.

I mean you can do research on Child molestation, but I have yet to here someone put up links to sites, where it can be carried out!!

He was caught bang to rights. Yes you may not like one of your heroes being caught but occasionally plod do actually get the rights ones.

Lets hope he didn't encourage some idiot to go set a bomb off on a bus your travelling on..

1
0
Anonymous Coward

8 years

I'm not entirely sure what a "year" is, but I think the sentence must be about 24000 futons?

0
0
Alert

re: Number of Phones

Well the family runs a grocers cum newsagents cum off licence in the village so it sounds like plod just took the whole shop with them (which is on the same property as the house)

wonder how many donuts were missing....

0
1
Flame

C:\dell\docs is my favorate place to save temp files

Wow, I tend to save downloads, temporary files, restore disc images, and pics from my cell phone in C:\dell\docs.

Is that suspicious? One of the advantages is anything under my users directory is automatically backed up, so this is where I store temp stuff I don't need backed up.

0
0
Paris Hilton

what if he used a Mac, though?

well, he could have made his chum Osama a nice photobook with pretty colours on shiny paper. I actually can't think of any other uses for a Mac than pretty pictures. Unless it's defeating alien motherships? or was that a Thinkpad? I dunno. They make Paris Hilton look nice, though!

0
0

@ Ferry Boat

Quote: "Where would you put your Jihad stuff on a Linux box?"

Obvious - it goes in /bin/kill

OK, Rule 8

0
0
PT
Alert

RTFM

Clearly, many of the previous posters didn't trouble to read up the background material on this case, even though El Reg thoughtfully provided a starter link to The Scotsman.

0
0

@AC

"He should have used Truecrypt: http://www.truecrypt.org."

It's now an offence in the UK not to hand over your encryption keys to the police so that won't help much.

0
0
Bronze badge

perhaps...

the man was scared of our draconian anti-terrorist laws, and hid the files from casual view for fear of being busted, rather than actually aiding and abetting terrorists. As is the usual case, the public are given only the information that marks this man as guilty. maybe he is, perhaps he isn't.

I do not store any files in the "my documents" folder and I have a lot of files that would be very useful to those improvising explosives or plotting the overthrow of a government. It is purely out of curiosity that I have them. I am a pacifist I could not kill or even physically hurt another creature, although humans are lower on the list than most species of animal. Still if the authorities wanted they could construct a case around the files on my system and bust my ass.

Freedom in this country is now just an illusion.

0
1
Flame

Travesty

This is such a heap of shit. 8 years, and for what prithee? He killed no one, he harmed no one. Drunk drivers get less when they DO kill someone. 8 years for some "terrorist publications". WTF is a terrorist publication, precisely? Just because you know how to build a bomb does not necessarily mean that you will in fact build one! Now, if he'd been found with the materials necessary to construct a bomb there might be a case to answer but the poor bastard only had some files on a bloody computer, and he is Muslim.

I'm not a Muslim but it's piss like this that makes we want to blow shit up!!!

Yes, it is true that he MIGHT have been a potential terrorist but every single one of us has the potential to wreak fucking havoc should the mood take us. The potential to be dangerous is a human failing - not a fucking crime!!!

So, it seems we bang folk up because conceivably they might commit a crime at some point in the future? Aye, that's justice right enough. Welcome to 21st century Britain.

0
1
Coat

Jihad material on a Linux box ...

/bin/laden - can't believe nobody else has suggested that groaner.

0
0

Brit slang translation please

"a grocers cum newsagents cum off licence" is that what used to be called a "knocking shop"?

0
0
Thumb Up

@ Nic

""He should have used Truecrypt: http://www.truecrypt.org."

It's now an offence in the UK not to hand over your encryption keys to the police so that won't help much."

Truecrypt lets you have a hidden volume within your encypted volume which they cannot prove even exists.

You can put some dodgy porn in here & pretend to the fuzz that was all you had to hide.

0
0
Jobs Halo

Who are the real Muppets?

So the El Reg barrack-room commentards have concluded that he's innocent because he put his beheading videos and Jihadi recruitment material in some obscure Windows folder?

Do any of you philosophy professors realise that it's 'idiots' like this that wish to kill you and to destroy your way of life?

I for one am extremely glad that he's in jail - my only regret about this is that the sentence is way too short.

/I'll get me shalwar kameez

1
0
(Written by Reg staff)

Kit investigated

For those of you who're puzzled by the large quantity of kit the police dealt with - these were as I understand it computers, phones etc which were investigated in association with the investigation. They'd have come from more places than just the one house. Three other people, including two relations, were arrested and then released in April 2006. They'd have owned some of the gear.

John Lettice

1
0
Paris Hilton

I hide stuff in inappropriate folders too.

Porn mostly.

0
0
(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

Re: Brit slang translation please

If it is "cum" you are asking translation for:

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This

cum1 /kʌm, kʊm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kuhm, koom] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation

—preposition

with; combined with; along with (usually used in combination): My garage-cum-workshop is well equipped.

[Origin: 1580—90; < L: with, together with (prep.)]

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)

Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

And if it's off-licence, it is a shop that sells alcohol for people to drink off the premises.

0
0
Stop

'Big Brother' - thought police is gonna get yeah..

Ok so within 2 days we've had TV-Links shut down for linking to copyright sites, and then some master bin laden criminal bangedup for 8 years for linking to all sorts of dodgy website such as

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anarchist-Cookbook-Peter-M-Bergman/dp/0974458902/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/026-9676694-8802033?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1193165526&sr=8-1

Whilst I think there is a little more in this case than meest the eye - whats with the mobiles and the SIM cards, I cannot believe how many people are getting 'banged-up' for publishing web links - isn't that the 'raison d'etre' of the whole internet itself - obviously the UK Should now turn off the internet, as we can't be trusted using it.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@Dick

... well they do sell dairy products.

0
0

Hoo hoo! ha Ha!

from the Scotsman "SPECIAL Branch officer Gary Murray's instructions were clear: if Mohammed Atif Siddique tries to board the flight to Pakistan, stop him. ... Siddique and his uncle, Mohammed Rafik, were booked on a Pakistan International Airways flight from Glasgow Airport, supposedly to visit relatives in Punjab for three months. ... However, intelligence reports suggested that Siddique's purpose for travel was far more sinister, that he would head for Canada to join a terrorist mission. "

Let me get this right, the mark of a terrorist is that instead of going to friggin' PAKISTAN he is really going to CANADA!

0
0
Stop

Hmmm....

@AC - the max penalty for not handing your crypto keys over is 5 years. Sounds less than 8 years to me.... ;-)

I guess I'd better shred my copy of Sun Tzu's "Art of War" (I'd provide a link but that would clearly be the act of a Terrierist[1])

Sounds like an act of desperation to me - after spending all that money on forensics and searching and basically finding jack sh*t (excuse me if I'm getting too technical) someone clearly felt that a conviction must be obtained just to avoid claims of mis-spent public funds. Twunts.

As the Queen said in Blackadder, "We can't go around locking people up just because they are stupid... otherwise Nursey would have been in prison her whole life"

[1] That's someone fanatical about Terriers, clearly.

0
1
J
Pirate

Title

"the My Movies folder (you'll find it right next to My Warez)"

No, no... right next to My Porn. It seems like you don't have a regular Windows system over there -- did you buy it legally? WGA wants to know.

0
0
Thumb Up

@ Geoff

"/bin/laden"

Funniest thing I have heard in a while, hats off to you sir

0
0
Coat

mislaid

if he'd put it in /tmp they would have never found it...

0
0

Old drives

I have a load of old disk drives (10 MB upwards) stuck in a box - one of them will possibly (probably?) have a copy of 'Anarchists' Cookbook'.

That's me in the shit then.

0
0
Bronze badge

@Philip

No, it is people who believe everything they read, trust the government and presume that the powers that be are acting in the best interests of the public who are the "real muppets".

This man maybe guilty and was actually preparing to facilitate or even participate in a terrorist action, in which case I agree with you the sentence should have been much longer.

However having said that, I have no trust whatsoever in our government or the mainstream media. This lack of trust is enough for me to suspect as being propaganda just about everything the government and mainstream media spout.

Is this man guilty of having illegal material on his PC? probably.

Was he preparing to use this information for a terrorist purpose? Unknown and impossible to prove.

Basically this man got eight years for possessing information freely available from many sources on line, and providing links to sites which disagree albeit violently with British policy with respect to the middle east.

Over the past few years laws have been passed in this country which make much in the way of peaceful protest illegal. You, I and every other UK citizen is being put into a box and the lid is being shut. It is only a matter of time before any criticism of the government and it's policies becomes a criminal offence.

0
1

A familiar "smell"

Witch Finders, Inquisitors, Hitler's Gestadt Polizei, McCarthy's House UnAmerican Activities Committee and now Bush's War On Terror that politicians's the World over can't wait to sign up for.

What the likes of Philip seem to forget is that, although what he did was suspicious, he did not actually carry out an "Act of Terror".

He did not blow anyone up. He did not kill or directly threaten anyone. There have been not terrorist attacks that could be shown to have used the internet bomb-making pages as a source of information, let alone that the "terrorists" followed the links off his pages to find said instructions.

Can they even prove that someone visited his website and felt terrified by the links?

Yet, somehow, possessing the information and making links justifies a heavier sentence than those given to people who have shown little enough regard for human life to drive while drunk and actually have killed people.

8 years for possessing "seditious material"? Fuck, how much for actually making use of said materials and blowing up a bus?

If they'd found stockpiles of home-made explosives and suspiciously large amounts of the raw materials to make more, I would be able to understand the severity of the sentence but 8 years for possessing information - even if they can prove conclusively that he is an Al Qaeda sympathiser and hates Westerners with a vengeance - is utter fucking bollocks. It stinks of the frothing hysteria of the witch finders and all the other paranoid misfits that followed them.

8 years for seditious materials, how much for possessing actual weapons or bombs (or having a few common household chemicals that *could* be made into bombs), how much for actually killing someone?

From judges who hold human life in such little regard that they give low sentences to drunken wastes-of-oxygen who kill people.

FFS, more people are killed by careless and/or drunk drivers than are killed by terrorism but the judges are prepared to condone and excuse such carnage - yet not condone the mere possession of "seditious material".

Great going, guys, Torquemada, Matthew Hopkins, Adolf Hitler, Senator McCarthy and now Bush and Frattini would be rightfully proud of your frothing-at-the-mouth zeal.

Heil Bush, Heil Frattini et al.

0
1
Unhappy

True Crypt keys must be handed over ??

Do you have a link ?

It kind of neuters cryptographic protection.

0
0
Jobs Horns

one word . . .

FONTS

did i say that or think it?

0
0
Jobs Halo

@Jon Tocker

"frothing-at-the-mouth zeal"

Hmm... anyone looking at your post and mine would be able to see pretty instantly which one of us is exhibiting hydrophobia.

How do you know what he did or didn't do? That's the problem with barrack room lawyers or, er, "the likes of" you. First up and shouting loudest, with absolutely no evidence or factual commentary on which to base their conspiratorial assertions.

I'm more than happy to accept that British Justice prevailed with this toe-rag, until I'm informed (with some evidence and the application of intellectual rigour) as to why not.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to hold a rally, then burn some children :sigh:

0
0
Thumb Down

The Anarchists cookbook

Can anyone with an interest in chemistry/physics who had access to the internet before 9/11 honestly say that at some point they *didn't* either look for, get access too, or download the HTML version of that book?

I can't - I had a copy of it burned to a CD yonks ago. it was good reading, Made some small pipebombs with some mates, blew up an old washing machine in a quarry, then got bored and went back to modifying air rifles.

So, on that basis, am I part of a group of explosives expert and competent snipers?

*buddabuddabudda*

My, that helicopter is hard to see against the night sky...

I'd love to be on the jury in a case like this, if for no other reason that to actually see if there is any real evidence against these people or if the jury is just full of Daily Star/Mail/Express reading trogladytes who want to see anyone who isn't white and a wishy washy Anglican hung, drawn and quartered. Which given the lack of any real motive or evidence being shown outwith circumstantial stuff in the most of the reports [other than some dodgy videos and iffy interweb links] on cases like this, seems disturbingly likely to be the case to my paranoid depressive brain...

Regards,

An anonymous white, wishy washy agnostic scotsman who missed being caught up in the July 7th Russel Square bombing by about seven minutes...

0
0

@Philip

As Jon commented: 8 years for possessing "seditious material"?

Isn't this exactly the same sort of thing that various tin-pot dictators (and not so tin-pot) have tried over the years? What worries me most about this sort of farce masquerading as 'justice' is that people like you think it IS justice.

You say "How do you know what he did or didn't do?" Well, probably about as much as *you* know - yet one post justifiably questions the severe sentence passed for nothing more than a 'documentation crime' (getting dangerously close to 'thought crime', IMO) while other wastes of space are getting away with more serious, non-terrorism related crimes: did you hear *nothing* about that thug who beat up a 96 year-old on a tram, blinding him in one eye? - not even a custodial sentence.

Meanwhile, the other post simply parrots the "string 'em up!!" mentality our minders (and most of the brain-dead news media) would have us swallow.

I'm always happy to see people questioning anything done by an authority, and it seriously worries me when they don't.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@Nick

"It's now an offence in the UK not to hand over your encryption keys to the police so that won't help much."

There is such a thing? No wonder people claim the Act of Union isn't worth the paper it's written on

0
0

Windows\system32

Just put your stuff to hide in there - its so full of shite any self respecting forensic expert would just give up anyway.

The other one is "My Documents" - anyone ACTUALLY use this for documents?

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.