back to article London man gets 5 years for YouTube terror videos

A London man who created extremist videos and loaded them onto the internet was jailed for five years today. Mohammed Gul, a 23-year-old from Elm Park Avenue, Hornchurch, was found guilty of five counts of dissemination of terrorist publications contrary to section 2 of the the Terrorism Act 2006 after a trial at the Old …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Gee, I forgot

    Freedom of speech isn't a right in the UK. Thank God for the US Constitution.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ....and they say Merkins can't do irony.

      1. Yamal Dodgy Data

        The merkin might have a point

        Come on lay off the yank bashing, (this is the Reg not the frikken Guardian)

        With no details about the case, the Merkin might have a valid point.

        Has the wanna-be jihadi been prosecuted for:

        (A). Incitement to murder

        i.e. "Allah will give you 72 schoolgirls for killing a kufr"

        (B). Instruction in making explosives

        i.e "DIY video on how to bomb the clapham bus"

        (C). Promoting "Hate Speech"

        i.e uploading an Al-Qaida snuff video on youtube

        (A) and (B) are rightly criminal offensives in all civilised countries (including the US)


        (C) is regarded as a criminal act only in countries dominated by a PC-regime,

        but regarded as tasteless in the rest of free world.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thank God for the US Constitution

      Firstly ITYF God isn't allowed to interfere - separation of church and state and all that, although it clearly means bugger all in reality if you look at the influence of the loony right. Secondly there's a big difference between advocating rights/ideals and inciting terrorism, although some of the innocents in Gitmo would probably have difficulty explaining where the line is drawn.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is this sarcasm?

      I'm confused, freedom of speech is a right under the Human Rights Act with exceptions like incitement to racial / religious hatred, etc (which this case falls under).

      Conversely, although the US Constitution claims to guarantee freedom of speech, in typical UASian style, the reality is that speech is limited whenever the government feels like it.

      Vietnam reporting and anti-Vietnam reporting, a huge list of books from "A Clockwork Orange" to "Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary", various encryption routines and hundreds of other free-speech issues are ready and waiting for your perusal with 10 seconds of research on Google.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC Is this sarcasm

        But he wasn't found guilty of "incitement to racial / religious hatred" he was " found guilty of five counts of dissemination of terrorist publications contrary to section 2 of the the Terrorism Act 2006" for posting tasteless compilation tapes on YouTube.

      2. P. Lee

        re: Thank God for the US Constitution

        Actually, I suspect most of those involved with the formation of the constitution would disagree. It was their explicit Christian values and language which permeate the constitution. Excluding God from affairs is a relatively recent phenomena, so you can thank God for much of the US constitution.

        Those who wrote it would be horrified at what has happened under the banner of "separation of Church and state." What they did not want was the state to enforce religious belief. They certainly did not want the Church to be above the law as it was in various European countries. They did not want the state to enforce religious belief as the Inquisition did, but I think they would have been astounded that this could have been interpreted as "you may not speak about your religion" as it affects many people.

        Since the absence of a God is impossible to prove, atheism is logically belief system. How ironic that we can probably thank the liberals for taking us from a situation where people used to be able to discuss the merits of various religious beliefs and how they affect policy, to a state-sanctioned and (in many areas) state-enforced religion of atheism with silence being the only alternative.

        Perhaps if we allowed more public discussion and serious comparison of theological systems, we might avoid pushing those with wacky ideas out of the mainstream, losing our ability to influence them.

    4. Anonymous Coward


      It's not. I'm all for freedom of speech, I guess except that I'm not. I don't think anyone should have the right to spout hate. This is exaclty the reason that the US can never agree with itself on anything. Hate mongerers are free to corrupt young minds and taint your national image with their evil.

      I guess you could quote the old addage, "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

      Yeah, I won't, because if I don't agree with what you say, I'll just chuck you in jail for being a dick.

      1. Rob Dobs

        Exactly... just the Nazi's or McArthyism

        The critical aspect of free speech is that one person shouldn't be able to decide for others what is "wrong", you never know when the powers that be decide that YOU are WRONG.

        You statement here I think makes you a bit of Dick, would you feel that I was right for throwing you in jail?

        I don't think you get the hypocrisy and irony of you using your free speech (Anonymously none the less!) to express your opinion on the issue of how you don't think we should have free speech.

        US has plenty of problems, but our discourse and discussions make us a stronger country.

        Once something has been argued enough, the real truths start to emerge and you begin to get a public consensus on what things are acceptable and not.

        I would put up with a few rare neglected children being shown some love wrapped in a bunch of crazy lies as long we can keep the free speech rules that MalcolmX, Lenny Bruce, King jr. etc all exercised.

        I'm just glad you don't get to decide who goes to Jail.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Exactly... just the Nazi's or McArthyism

          Just the Nazi's what?

          "The critical aspect of free speech is that one person shouldn't be able to decide for others what is "wrong", you never know when the powers that be decide that YOU are WRONG."

          Well, you can start with the yardstick that if someone announces that their followers/friends should start harassing/hurting/killing other people who have a different skin colour/religion/sexuality then their actions effectively restrict other people's freedoms because those threatened can no longer be sure that random strangers won't try and harass/hurt/kill them. That generally has a negative consequence on a society.

          A civilised society is generally a construct which maximises everyone's freedoms in a uniform fashion so that someone acting out their playground fantasies doesn't curtail other people's freedoms. Take away the laws or norms that regulate this effectively and you don't have such a society any more.

      2. Someone Else Silver badge

        <insert another required title here>

        "I don't think anyone should have the right to spout hate."

        How, then do you reconcile the Rush Limburger clones/wannabees that, dominate... what constitutes "speech" here in the Colonies? I expect you'd want to shut them (and the Faux News propaganda machine that gives most of them a platform) down, eh?


        1. Anonymous Coward

          @ Someone Else

          Actually, yes, that's exactly the kind of hate mongering I was talking about. I would LOVE to shutdown Fox News, you shouldn't be allowed to get away with outright LYING in order to foster hate.

    5. Anonymous Coward

      @AC, Gee, I forgot

      I live in the USA, and I don't have freedom of speech. I can't speak certain swear words on TV. If I stand in a crowd watching the US president and claim I'm going to kill him bad things will happen to me. Try looking up something like the Miller Test for example on obscenity which limits your freedoms of speech.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    If this guy was actually posting videos of how to make IEDs, then I guess I can kind of understand jail time. Otherwise this is scary - 5 years in prison because we don't like what he says. They do that sort of thing in Iran and Libya too, you know.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Otherwise this is scary?

      Really? I mean, if I send death threats to people, or encourage other people to kill those I don't like, I wouldn't be surprised to get a visit from the rozzers.

  3. RyokuMas Silver badge

    Who'd be a copper?

    I expect the human rights campaigners, European courts and legal aid lawyers are already linig up to take a bite at this cherry.

    The end outcome will be that Mr. Gul will be released in about a years time on some alledged "infringement of his human rights" in a frenzy of publicity brought about by the hand-wringing lunatics who want nothing more than to destroy this country's identity, using some technicality discovered by a legal aid lawyer who is making an obscene amount per hour at the expense of the taxpayer.

    Mr. Gul will then go on to win a staggering compensation payout - again courtesy of the taxpayer and with the help of the same taxpayer-funded legal aid system - then either disappear somewhere, or continue to preach hate, knowing that he is untouchable. Meantime, the police will be further hamstrung in their ability to carry out their duties with further red tape.

    Fail. Because there is no "epic fail", "gargantuan fail" or "higgs boson fail"

    1. Martin 71 Silver badge


      I think you'll find the Daily Mail forum is that way >>>>

      1. Luther Blissett

        DM not increasing its circulation for nothing

        What make you think Daily Maul readers capable of discussing the concept and ramifications of a 'higgs boson fail'?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      legal aid... yeah right

      Sorry, but "a legal aid lawyer who is making an obscene amount of money"?? Really? You do realise that legal aid in this country is *buggered* - it basically doesn't exist now, but it's going to get worse. AFAIK new rules mean that if you have over £1000 in assets you'll not be eligable for legal aid, and assets include your car and your home. Most legal aid lawyers make *sod all* and are soon going to be paid even less.

      Mini rant over, carry on ;o)

    3. Anonymous Coward

      And rightly so

      He should have been tried for inciting religious hatred and not for one of the many new "offences" specifically designed to work around the Human Rights Convention by Leon Blairskij and Joseph Vissarionovich Brown. If the evidence does not stack up for a hatred charge, the CPS and police should have just left him alone.

      The sooner Blair & Brown handywork is taken off the book the better for all of us. It creates martyrs out of what is for all practical purposes a lame muppet. If the courts do it before the LibCons do in parliament than so be it. By the way, any money he is paid in compensation is nothing compared to the money this country has already wasted feeding the "offense-for-everything" machine.

  4. lightflowmark


    Was this guy actually encouraging or inciting terrorism, or merely rebroadcasting poor-taste videos of soldiers getting blown up, etc.?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Seems like the jury decided it was the former - the evidence of incitement came as much from his forum activities, online chat etc not just posting stuff to You Tube.

  5. Frank Fisher
    Big Brother

    This guy is as much a victim of censorship as Assange

    Five years? For editing video?

    For fuck's sake, this damn country. If we cannot win on the terms we are *supposed* to be fighting on - for democracy and Elightenment values which VERY MUCH include free speech, then we do no deserve to win.

  6. Frank Fisher
    Big Brother

    Today's courts would have jailed Tom Paine or even Kipling.

    This is where we're at, where the truth - raw bloody truth relayed from the battlefield - is a criminal offence. I dont' CARE what this guy's motivations are. If we are saying that publishing actual video footage, edited or voice-overed or whatever, from war zones where our troops are killing, and dying, is *illegal*, then what have we come to?

    What kind of country is is that jails people for having unpopular points of view? What kind fo country locks someone away becuase they put forward a good argument?

    1. Rob Dobs

      Free Speech vs. Criminal Intent

      I just posted a defensive statement for free speech, but.....

      I am not familiar with this case, but take the UK law system to be reasonably fair normally.

      With that, I am assuming that this guy did more that just edit video or express an unpopular opinion.

      It sounds like he was making extremist propaganda. Something that when examined in a courtroom by a jury of peers was found to be overtly inciting others to commit acts of violence against people. He was likely glorifying acts of terrorist violence, and giving information and incentive for others to commit similar acts.

      If this was not the reality then I fell for this guy, but really short on details I am going to assume that he was convicted fairly for doing something of which the intent and end result would be actions of violence against people.

      If you still feel he should be protected try skewing it more personally. Say he was making a video that specifically seemed to revel in how great physically violence was when done to you (insert your name here) personally. I know I would go take care of someone real quick if they made a freespeech video about the value of killing me or members of my family.....

      1. kennsmi
        Black Helicopters

        I do(n't) believe it matters who you are

        ...and now I await for similar prosecution against the Army, RAF and Navy for all their (dis)tasteful extremist propaganda, glorifying acts of terrifying violence, and giving information and incentive on how to join up and commit similar acts.

        I recently watched this documentary, it was a bit weird - like it was in the past but also the future at the same time...anyway, unfortunately the terrorists won. Even the revelation that the main terrorist was fighting against his own father didn't affect the outcome...crazy.

        black helicopters because obviously these kind of sane and rational thoughts will get me in trouble

    2. dave 54
      Thumb Down

      how's the sixth form going?

      Crying into your latte about the hideous state of the legal system is all well and good, but you might want to take a few minutes to find out what the bloke actually did. Twelve men good and true decided to put him in chokey after seeing the evidence; you, however, seem to feel that ineffectual hand-wringing and generalised outrage from a position of complete ignorance is a better course of action.

      I wonder why.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    ...As an American, I didn't expect you guys to be cheering your government on as they put the muzzle on you. And all you can do is bash the US for 'not having freedom of speech' in an article about someopne who was jailed for five freaking years because he said stuff people disagree with?!

    People and governments who support imprisoning people for political beliefs scare me more than terrorists ever can. You can act smug about book bans from fifty years ago here - but the censorship of political speech is so abhorrent here as to be unthinkable. Enjot your own right to speak as you please, while you still agree with your government. For my part, I won't be too sympatheric when the term 'nuLabor' is determined to be an incitement to hatred, and you find yourselves hoisted by your own petard.

    1. Frank Fisher

      we're not all in agreement chum

      Don't mistake the courts, the cops or our government for US.

    2. Burch


      This man had a trial. Not always the case in the US eh? Or had you forgotten about that?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Freedom of Speech is now a myth.

      As long as your speech doesn't turn the apple cart of the establishment.

      Everyone keeps saying the US has a Constitution.

      Problem is, the US Constitution is now intermittent.

      It all started down this path with the creation of DHS.

      I have a public access tv show. <a href="">I can't just say anything I want on it without consequences.</a> While there's a lot I can do, there's a lot I can't.

      I have no idea what this case's details were. But something you should keep in mind is that while the government can decide to kill people, and print directives on how to do it, and edit and publish video on how it's done, you and I can't even begin to discuss such things.

      There's only one thing left in the US which matters. The 2nd amendment.

    4. foo_bar_baz

      That is scary?

      3 and half years in jail without trial is scary. An innocent person being sent to be tortured is scary.

  8. HP Cynic


    I'm pretty sure someone essentially promoting Terrorism would be in for a far tougher time in the US than a 5-year jail sentence that will probably end up being reduced.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Freedom of Speech

    Freedom of Speech "with exceptions like incitement to racial / religious hatred, etc" isn't Freedom of Speech. Anyone can define any speech they don't like as "incitement to racial / religious hatred, etc".

    That's why in the US, what this guy did is perfectly legal. Thank God for that. I'd rather have the nuts out in the open where everyone can see them, than hiding in secret because the Thought Police are afraid to let them speak their crazy talk.

    1. Andus McCoatover

      ..what this guy did is perfectly legal?

      Unless I've misunderstood, carrying box-cutters onto a plane was perfectly legal before 9/11.

      My Nokia-issued 'survival kit' - which comprised smoke-mask*, torch, knife, scissors, basic medication - some of it liquid - etc. wouldn't be allowed as hand-luggage now. (Issued to me in 1999 or so. Think I still have it somewhere...).

      Sorry, folks, this bloke is just the tip of the iceberg. A bastard who somehow seems to have been 'foolish' enough to poke his head above the water.

      Sadly, there's probably plenty more smarter, waiting out there, who can hold their breath longer. We call them 'sleeper cells' which surely is an oxymoron. They sure as fuc*k ain't asleep.

      We'll get some of them by intelligence, or by their own stupidity/overconfidence.

      I'm afraid the vast majority of these fuckers will be caught by pure luck. And a plod's intuition.

      Evening, all!

      * Bit stupid, really. If I've got a mask on, and someone's gasping, did they think I could just stroll off the plane whilst the dying watched? Guess that was what the knife was for...Anyone else from Nokia who is reading this have one?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    dissemination of terrorist publications

    Purely depends on your definition of terrorism. That's it. the only criteria.

    And our governments past and present, especially recently have a very loose definition of what counts as terrorist.

    Of course, it helps to have a nice straightforward case like this to train our minds that this is a just law, a fair law - but lets not kid ourselves - it's a very flexible law.

  11. Martin Usher
    Big Brother

    Five years for posting a video?

    That's a bit extreme.

    It seems that kids don't read Conrad at school any more. Conrad's tale of the Secret Agent describes a time when the UK authorities knew how to handle extremists. Now its all heavy handed policing.....ultimately self-defeating.

  12. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Better go and hide my copy of "dambusters"

    Posting a video of clips of British bombers destroying German cities is obviously OK - it's the staple of Sunday afternoon TV.

    What if I posted clips of German bombers and the London blitz ? Since that's an act of terrorism would I be in trouble?

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      Don't mention the war.

      I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Lotta people talking silly stuff here

    What the guy did or did not say or do I think is irrelevant.

    I think he was possibly locked up for what he was trying to do. And what was he trying to do?

    Sprouting rhetoric about things which we as a society do not agree with is one thing but encouraging others to attack our society is another. And that’s why he has been banged up.

    You can pretty much say what you like but when you start to try and influence others to commit murder that has to be taken seriously. The voice over’s on the videos was YOU MUST DO THIS, YOU MUST FIGHT. I can't really see the difference in this and a Pedo trying to 'switch on' some kids to take their clothes off.

    I was only talking to her!

    But you were telling her to take her clothes off!

    That my freedom of speech you're infringing.

    Not its not you sick fuck!

    You are going down.

    It’s wrong and justifiably harshly treated. If you think that’s an infringement of his human rights look at the video’s he was posting and distributing. Any different from a pedo inducing some young kid to do things they don't understand?

    julian assange this guy was not!

    Let the flames begin!

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
      Thumb Up

      @AC"Lotta people talking silly stuff here"

      Hehehehe. Good one. I concur.

      It doesn't take much sometimes to follow an ideal down to the letter. It takes a lot more to do the right thing.

  14. kain preacher Silver badge

    @ ac 17:55 GMT

    So you saying you have the right to threaten people? You want to you have the right to cause harm to some ?

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. alwarming

    Need more specific definitions.

    If the state is going to outlaw specific acts, the least it should to is be crystal clear in defining such acts objectively.

  17. kdd
    Thumb Down

    Least of their problems...

    Seems to me that if watching incindiary vids is enough to inspire much of the populace to violence, they've got bigger problems than this guy

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD


      You don't live in the EU then do you?

      And yes, we have problems, that's why this guy I feel has been adequately dealt with.

      The target population in question (and I don't mean the greater majority of Islam, don't get me wrong, just these minority nutjobs) are quite incitable, and are quite vocal too.

      They are not a very nice bunch of people, and to be quite honest, I have sometimes have no idea why they remain (in the EU) if we're such evil bastards. Well, I think I do, welfare, standard of living etc but you get the idea.

  18. Oodles of Noodles
    Big Brother

    G66aP7J752M10 - Remember it as: GOOGLE 6 6 amazon PARIS 7 JESSICA 7 5 2 MICROSOFT 1 0

    Hang on guys, my understanding is that whilst the plod and cps brought the case to court, it was a jury of his peers that returned the guilty verdict - or are we trying to develop a conspiracy theory here?

    1. tony trolle


      that's the wikileaks key

  19. Anonymous Coward

    I'm all for freedom of speech...

    ...EXCEPT when adults with invisible friends want to spread that or harm other people over it.

  20. Will 28

    I think this line is a lot more blurry than pro and against people are making out.

    "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." - Are those carrying out the terrorist acts the people or the guns?

    If I told a known person to go and kill another known person, am I culpable?

    what if I told a random person to go and kill a known person?

    What if I told a random person to go and kill a random person?

    What if I told a random person to go and kill a random person in return for a large amount of money?

    What if I told a random person to go and kill a random person of a particular ethnic group for a large amount of money?

    What if I told a random person to go and kill a number of random people, mostly of an ethnic group in return for satisfying their religious duties, and being rewarded with contentment in the afterlife?

    What if a large number of people told a random large number of people to kill for one of the above reasons? Who is culpable when an act is then commited (please tell me it's "The Daily Mail").

    I don't know where the line should be drawn where the person commiting the act is solely culpable compared to the one encouraging (or perhaps sponsoring) the act. However to say this is clearly injustice, or clearly justice, is incredibly simplistic.

  21. Somerset John
    IT Angle

    Yanks commenting on Brit justice?

    Wasn't someone in USA just given 25 years for a not entirely dissimilar set of offenses?

  22. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Jury of peers?

    I doubt very much that the jury in anyway represented his peers.

    I'm betting the jury consisted of white middle class property owners on the electroral register who had the sort of stable jobs that they could take the time off and the sort of attitude that meant they wanted to be on a jury (it's ridiculously easy to get off one)

    I would love all trials of police officers to have a jury of black teenagers - just for some balance.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    I agree with the decision... but...

    20 years ago, I certainly wouldn't have agreed.

    Age often brings on a leaning toward the conservative, or possibly to the logical - however unfair that may appear.

    Freedom of speech is fantastic, until it starts to trample on the freedom of people - incitement of hatred, incitement to commit acts of violence against innocents - sorry, you just lost your freedom of speech.

    Yep, it's ironic, but in my book, I'd rather err on the side of caution.

    If you had a mate who continually banged on about how he was going to 'teach someone a lesson', 'get a gun', 'blow up something' - and you could sense they were serious, what would you do?

    You'd probably keep it quiet and try and talk the bloke down, but eventually, if it continues, you'd alert the authorities.

    It's clear this guy was serious about his misguided beliefs - would you want to trust his 'freedom of speech'? - would you want to risk even the slight possibility of another 7/7 ?

    Didn't think so...

    There's a massive difference between works of fiction, the views of established writers who are in the public domain and a lone nutter.

    As much as I disagree with a great deal of the methods our government employs against protestors, demonstrators, the abuse of the special powers they have related to terrorism, in this case, I'd agree with them.

    God, I'm getting old...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " one person shouldn't be able to decide for others what is "wrong","

    I'd love to have the choice as to whether I eat halal meat or not............. (try asking at the supermarket)

    I do not understand why we have to tolerate the intolerant, and allow them to change our country, and the way we live.

  25. bugalugs


    is that part of our response to other's behaviour on the nice side of the line each of us draws.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Greenpeace is technically a terrorist organisation!

    Terrorism in the UK is described as, "encouraging people to damage property or incite hatred for idealogical purposes", that covers trying to damage whaling ships and driving spikes into trees in the forests, to break logger's tools!

    So next time you see someone distributing those leaflets or "chuggers" trying to sign people up to Greenpeace on street corners, a quick call to the Rozzers may be in order!

    With my Greenpeace donations every month to save the cuddly polar bears, seals and penguins I have actually been funding terrorism! Arrghhh!

  27. Aggellos
    IT Angle

    internet v's old media

    I find this whole topic odd how would we feel if this was done with old media and passed to the Public Domian, obscene publication ,public disorder, breach of the peace, this whole internet freedom garbage is for the misinformed and deluded.

    every forum, social networking site , blog even this old rag the reg is all about the opinions of whoever controls it and what is allowed to be discussed is up to those in charge, why do we feel the internet is some how different ?, you can be convicted of hate crimes, stalking, pedophilla,fraud, libel online or offline.

    would this story have had a different taste to it, if the man in question was white and a member of the kkk and propogating racism by unploading images of the executions of people of a certain race of skin colour or any of the other actions the gentlemen in question had taken but in a racist theme rather than religous.

  28. Mark .

    Least of their problems...

    "Seems to me that if watching incindiary vids is enough to inspire much of the populace to violence, they've got bigger problems than this guy"

    Don't give them ideas! I'm surprised Governments haven't started making possession illegal, claiming merely watching videos turns people into criminals... (as with Section 63).

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another one bites the dust

    It ain't smart to plot against society.

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