A woman who wrote jihadi poetry using the pen name “Lyrical Terrorist” has had her terrorism conviction quashed by the Appeal Court.
Three senior judges said the jury at Samina Malik’s trial last year had been confused and her conviction for possessing items of use to terrorists was unsafe.
The Crown Prosecution Service indicated that it would not seek a retrial.
Miss Malik became the first woman convicted under terrorism legislation since 2001 when she was found guilty of possessing jihadi propaganda in December last year. Of 21 items found in Miss Malik’s possession, 14 were propaganda items. However, she also
possessed documents including The Terrorists Handbook , The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook , and operator manuals for firearms and anti-tank weapons.
She was given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months.
Miss Malik had also penned gruesome poetry in chatrooms praising the beheading of hostages in Iraq. On the back of a till receipt she scribbled: The desire within me increases everyday to go for martyrdom.
Her conviction, under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000, was widely condemned as a “thought crime” by commentators and Muslim community leaders.
But it became inevitable that she would be cleared of the crime in February when the Appeal Court quashed the convictions of five men under section 58 and effectively rewrote the Terrorism Act. The court ruled then that propagandist or theological
material - no matter how extreme - could not be considered of practical use to terrorists.
But Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the Lord Chief Justice, presiding at the Appeal Court, said her conviction was now unsafe: The jury was required to consider not only documents which were capable of being of practical utility for a person
committing or preparing an act of terrorism, but a large number of documents that were not. We consider that there was scope for the jury to have become confused.