British woman who stabbed lawmaker 'inspired by Awlaki'

2nd November 2010, Comments 0 comments

A British court found a Muslim woman guilty of trying to kill a lawmaker Tuesday by stabbing him twice in the stomach, reportedly after watching online sermons by Yemeni-US cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

Roshonara Choudhry, a 21-year-old student, stabbed former minister Stephen Timms when she went to meet him at his constituency office in east London on May 14 this year, shortly after the general election.

She told police after her arrest that she wanted to kill him because he voted for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

But according to The Guardian newspaper, police believe the once moderate Muslim was radicalised by watching Awlaki's English-language jihadi sermons on the Internet.

Yemeni prosecutors accused Awlaqi Tuesday of having links to Al-Qaeda and of incitement to kill foreigners, following the discovery of two parcel bombs on US-bound flights last Friday.

The jury at the Old Bailey court in London heard that Choudhry pretended to shake hands with Timms before stabbing him with a kitchen knife "to get revenge for the people of Iraq".

Asked why she did it, she replied: "Punishment."

She was found guilty of attempted murder and also of two counts of possessing a knife.

Choudhry did not appear in court because she said she did not recognise its jurisdiction, and also advised her lawyer not to challenge the evidence. However, she is expected to appear by videolink for sentencing Wednesday.

Timms has since made a full recovery.

© 2010 AFP

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