Three men said to be linked to al Qaeda, including one using an Arabic name meaning “Terrorist 007,” have pleaded guilty to inciting terrorism over the Internet in the first case of its kind in Britain, police said on Wednesday.
The men, said by prosecutors to have close ties to Osama bin Laden’s network, pleaded guilty to inciting acts of terrorism “wholly or partly” outside Britain via Web sites which advocated the killing of non-Muslims.
Moroccan-born Younes Tsouli, Briton Waseem Mughal and Jordanian-born Tariq al-Daour changed their original not guilty pleas part way through a trial which had begun at Woolwich Crown Court in east London in April.
Police said the men had set up Web sites, using stolen credit cards and identities, to promote al Qaeda propaganda, including the beheading of Western hostages.
Officers said they believed it was the first time anyone had been convicted in Britain of using the Internet to incite terrorism. In another unique aspect of the case, detectives said Tsouli and al-Daour had never met and had only communicated online.
Prosecutors said the men had also kept car bomb-making manuals and videos of how to wire suicide vests as part of the campaign to promote global violent jihad, or holy war.
Other documents included “The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook” and “The Mujahideen Explosives Handbook’.
Tsouli, the suspected ringleader, used the online identity “irhabi007″ — the Arabic word for terrorist, followed by the code number of the fictional British spy James Bond.
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