News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Andrew Ibrahim Charged

Details of the charges laid against Andrew Ibrahim, also known as Isa Ibrahim, are as follows:

1) Possession of an Explosive Substance with Intent, contrary to section 3 (1)(b) of Explosive Substances Act 1883

Andrew Philip Michael IBRAHIM/Isa IBRAHIM between the 1st day of January 2008 and the 18th day of April 2008 unlawfully or maliciously made or had in his possession or under his control an explosive substance namely Hexamethylene Triperoxide Diamine with intent by means thereof to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the United Kingdom.

2) Engaging in Conduct with the Intention to Commit Acts of Terrorism contrary to section 5(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006

Andrew Philip Michael IBRAHIM/Isa IBRAHIM between the 1st day of January 2008 and the 18th day of April 2008 with the intention of committing acts of terrorism engaged in conduct to give effect to his intention to construct and detonate an improvised explosive device.

3) Possession of Articles for Terrorist Purposes, contrary to section 57(1) of the Terrorism Act 2000

Andrew Philip Michael IBRAHIM/Isa IBRAHIM on the 17th day of April 2008 had in his possession a CD Rom, two home made vests, a quantity of ball bearings, a quantity of air gun pellets, a quantity of nails and screws, wired circuitry, batteries and electric bulb filaments in circumstances that gave rise to a reasonable suspicion that his possession was for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.

Passed into law in 1883, The Explosive Substances Act precedes all current terrorist legislation and creates offenses of causing an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property or doing any act with intent to cause such an explosion. Andrew Ibrahim has been charged under section 3(1)(b) of the Act which refers to

Making, possessing or controlling an explosive substance with intent to cause an explosion likely to endanger life

The charge, therefore, is more specific than a mere intention to act but involves the actual possession of an explosive substance which was intended to be used to kill or maim and carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Sentencing has ranged between 25-35 years for individuals found guilty of this offense in recent years.

The Act (albeit a different section of it) formed part of the basis of the charges brought against Iraqi-born doctor Bilal Abdullah in connection with the bomb attacks in London and Glasgow Airport in 2007 and also those brought against former BNP activist Tony Lecomber in 1985. More recently, BNP members Robert Cottage and David Jackson were charged under the Act and acquitted at a retrial in July 2007.

In the case of Andrew Ibrahim, the police have made public the substance in question which they allege he intended to use to cause an explosion. Hexamethylene Triperoxide Diamine is an organic chemical compound historically used in mining and sensitive to heat, friction or shock.

The two charges under the Terrorism Act 2006 allege that Andrew Ibrahim did not merely possess an explosive substance with intent to use it but that he also acted in such a way as to prepare its use as an act of terror. Again, the police have been chillingly open in the amount of detail given, alleging as they do that Mr Ibrahim, a former student of Colston's School in Stapleton, possessed "two home made vests" along with ball bearings, nails, etc. which, it is alleged, he intended to use for terrorist purposes.

The Terrorist Act also carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

This post is submitted in line with the request by the police for the media to act responsibly in reporting these alleged charges, to recognise that Mr Ibrahim is innocent until proven guilty and to avoid at all costs any reporting that might prejudice the due process of law.
Comments that adhere to these guidelines are welcome.

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