Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Woman sentenced for jihad leaflet
A woman who wrote a leaflet encouraging people to carry out jihad, or holy war, has been sentenced to a community order at Manchester Crown Court.
Shella Roma, 29, of Oldham, had pleaded guilty to dissemination of a terrorist publication, and received a three-year order, with supervision for two years.
Roma was arrested after a photocopy shop employee was alarmed by a document she had produced, and alerted police.
The pamphlet contained an essay, "The Call", encouraging jihad. The eight-page essay mentioned the 9/11 attacks and the war on terror, and repeatedly asked: "Will you go to Jihad (holy war)?"
In the hands of vulnerable people, this document could have inspired them to cause harm
Det Ch Supt Tony Porter Greater Manchester Police
It ended: "Jihad: the choice is yours."
The staff member at the business in Ashton-under-Lyne contacted police, who arrested Roma - a mother-of-one - on 31 January, 2008.
Officers searching Roma's home found 137 of the 200 documents that were copied, but the remaining 63 have never been recovered.
Judge Clement Goldstone QC said Roma had "sought to distribute them in two ways, by leaving them in your home for anyone who wanted to help themselves too, and, more significantly, by giving them to your husband to distribute outside the mosque to which normal, practising Muslims had gone to pray".
Det Ch Supt Tony Porter, of the Greater Manchester Police Counter Terrorism Unit, said: "Roma was an isolated, self-motivated person, and not a professional propagandist, but in the hands of vulnerable people, this document could have inspired them to cause harm.
"This case shows how important it is for people to come forward and report any concerns about suspicious activity."