Judge Peter Openshaw broke into the questioning of a witness about a Web forum used by alleged Islamist radicals.
“The trouble is I don’t understand the language. I don’t really understand what a Web site is,” he told a London court during the trial of three men charged under anti-terrorism laws.
Prosecutor Mark Ellison briefly set aside his questioning to explain the terms “Web site” and “forum.” An exchange followed in which the judge acknowledged: “I haven’t quite grasped the concepts.”
Violent Islamist material posted on the Internet, including beheadings of Western hostages, is central to the case.
Concluding Wednesday’s session and looking ahead to testimony on Thursday by a computer expert, the judge told Ellison: “Will you ask him to keep it simple, we’ve got to start from basics.”
Younes Tsouli, 23, Waseem Mughal, 24, and Tariq al-Daour, 21, deny a range of charges under Britain’s Terrorism Act, including inciting another person to commit an act of terrorism “wholly or partly” outside Britain.
Tsouli and Mughal also deny conspiracy to murder. Al-Daour has pleaded not guilty to conspiring with others to defraud banks, credit card and charge card companies.
Prosecutors have told the jury at Woolwich Crown Court, east London, that the defendants kept car-bomb-making manuals and videos of how to wire suicide vests as part of a campaign to promote global jihad, or holy war.
The trial continues.
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