Read this one sitting down. At the heart of this decision lie two absurd assumptions: First, there is the idea that fighting terrorism — indeed, seeing that justice is served — causes terrorism, and so not fighting quite so hard will make the enemy dial it back a notch, too. The second is the notion that there are “hearts and minds” that can be won over: Release people who hate Britain and were willing to act on that hatred in hope of making them and their friends hate the Sceptred Isle less.
What could possibly go wrong? “UK to release 30 top jihadis early to cut terror risk,” by David Leppard for the Sunday Times, October 5:
Up to 30 “high-risk” terrorists — including some of the most dangerous men in Britain –are due to be released from jail in the next
More are being freed in the wake of a ruling by Britain’s most senior judges that long sentences for terrorist crimes could “inflame” rather than deter extremism.
An analysis of appeal court cases shows that of the 26 terrorism cases it has heard, 25 have led to men with terrorism convictions having their sentences reduced. Others are being released because they serve only part of their term.
The leniency of the British appeal court to some convicted terrorists contrasts with America where they can be locked up for their whole lives.One man designated “high risk” and due to be freed soon is Andrew Rowe, a Muslim convert who was found guilty of having notes on how to fire mortar bombs.
Rowe was sentenced to 15 years in 2005. He is due to be freed next April after his sentence was reduced to 10 years. Others who have had their terms cut include some of those who helped the failed suicide bombers of July 21, 2005 and two of those convicted of soliciting murder during the Danish cartoons protest.
The sentences were reduced after a key ruling in July 2008 by Lord Phillips, then the lord chief justice, and two other senior judges, who reduced Abdul Rahman’s sentence from six to five years following his guilty plea for disseminating a terrorist publication. Rahman, a key al-Qaida player, recruited disaffected Muslims from England to fight British troops in Afghanistan.