al-Awlaki’s sermons influenced Muslim woman student to stab British MP

November 4th, 2010 - 5:21 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Nov 3 (ANI): Roshanara Choudhry, a 21-year-old student who has been jailed for life for trying to assassinate British MP Stephen Timms in May this year, told police she had wanted to die as a martyr after watching more than 100 hours of video sermons from the American-born extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki on the internet.

Choudhry was sentenced to serve a minimum of 15 years on Wednesday.

According to the Guardian, obtained transcripts of police interviews with her conducted hours after her arrest, show that within first few minutes of the interaction she confessed to trying to murder Timms as punishment for his support for the Iraq war.

She also said that she had been learning more about Islam those days, and Awlaki’s sermons on YouTube made her believe that “we shouldn’t allow the people who oppress us to get away with it”.

“I downloaded the full set of Anwar al-Awlaki’s lectures,” Choudhry told police, saying that she listened to more than 100 hours of them.

The effect of listening to and viewing the cleric’s video was such that she chose to withdraw from contact with her friends and ended her studies, quitting as the top student in her course at King’s College London on 27 April this year before carrying out her attack on 14 May.

Meanwhile, YouTube has reportedly started removing hundreds of videos of Awlaki, the radical cleric based in Yemen who has been linked to several terrorist plots against the US and the UK, under the instructions of American and British authorities.

Talking about Choudhry, Timms said it was “tragic” that a girl who possibly wanted to be a teacher acted in such a manner after seeing a video on the web.

“I think that’s tragic and I think we do need to take care of other young people who may find themselves in a similar position. It is puzzling and alarming that she seems to have reached the conclusion by spending time on some website,” he added. (ANI)

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