Far-right bomb maker not a terrorist, say police and CPS

24th Dec 2014

Elham Asaad Buaras

Ryan McGee’s and his home made bomb (containing 181 metal and glass shrapnel)

Muslim leaders have slammed the inconsistent use of anti-terror laws after a “far-right obsessed” British soldier was jailed for just two years and deemed “not a terrorist” by authorities despite admitted making lethal bomb and possessing the Anarchist Cookbook – a 1970s guide to making bombs and illegal drugs.

Before his sentencing Private Ryan McGee was released on bail, having pleaded to the offences. He was prosecuted and convicted under the Explosive Substances Act (1883).
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it had decided not to prosecute McGee as a terrorist because “it was never McGee’s intention to use the device for any terrorist or violent purpose, and that he had no firm intention to activate the device. That’s why he was prosecuted under the Explosive Substance Act.”

Reacting after the verdict on November 28 the Muslim Council of Britain told The Muslim News McGee’s case demonstrated the authorities keenness to deal Muslims “through the lens of security and terrorism” when compared to other groups.

Imran Khan, a renowned human rights lawyer and solicitor for Mohommod Nawaz, who was jailed for four and a half years for traveling to a terrorist training camp in Syria, said the discrepancies between the treatment of Muslims and non-Muslim terror- suspects brought the legal “system into disrepute.” He added, “It seems that if you are a Muslim, justice is not blind.

“Such decisions bring the system into disrepute and steps must be taken to remedy it. Most significantly, if the Government, police and the courts wanted to send a message out to those British Muslims who have gone to Syria to come back then I fear that this has hampered that cause greatly,” said Khan.

The Crown Prosecution Service ruled it was never Ryan McGee’s intention to use any of the above devices for any terrorist or violent purpose

Moazzam Begg, Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner and Director of Outreach for CAGE, which works with communities affected by the “war on terror”, tweeted, ‘Soldier jailed for making nailbomb [sic] avoids terror charge. That’ll change when he converts to Islam in prison!’

Police discovered a bomb (containing 181 metal and glass shrapnel); an air rifle, an imitation pistol; a knuckleduster; knives and axes; an English Defence League (EDL) flag and pressure sensors used for booby traps when they searched the Salford home of McGee in an unconnected investigation last year.

Both the prosecution and the media continually reported the 20-year-old was not an EDL member even though the EDL says it has “no formal membership” structure.
McGee had attended an EDL rally, owned EDL ‘armed forces division’ garments, watched a horrific video of two men being bound and executed under a swastika flag, and his laptop had links to websites including gore videos, French skinheads, Russian racism, handguns for sale UK and Germany.

His computer also showed he visited websites for guides to make booby traps and unconventional warfare alongside orders for hydrochloric acid, acetone, filter papers and peroxide.

His Facebook account also reveals an anti-Muslim view. Among various ‘likes’ are ‘Stop Islamification Now!’ and ‘The awkward moment when you accidentally post your letter into a Burqa’.

He also wrote in a journal: “I vow to drag every last immigrant into the fires of hell with me.”

The CPS said it accepted the soldier was not a terrorist and that he did not intend to help a terrorist group. And despite conceding that McGee’s device could “have seriously injured or possibly killed members of the public” Detective Superintendent Simon Barraclough, from the North West Counter-Terrorism Unit, said, “There is no evidence of planning or intended targets.”

Both the CPS and the police accepted McGee’s explanation that he made the bomb “out of boredom Research Director of CAGE, Asim Qureshi, said that McGee “would probably have been put away for the next 30 years” had he been a Muslim.

CAGE said they have “documented countless cases over the last thirteen years where Muslims are convicted of terrorism based on much less, including possessing documents where no plan, plot or ability exists. Sentences such as these reinforce the notion that UK terror legislation is part of a two-tier justice system reserved especially for Muslims.”

He told The Muslim News, “This case does show that violent crime can be understood outside of terrorism legislation and that actually there is little need for our terror laws. The invocation of terrorism legislation clouds the underlying causes of violence and only serves to reinforce the idea that somehow terrorism must be treated differently to other crimes. The approach taken in McGee’s case should be replicated in cases relating to ‘terrorism’ in the UK and the whole conceptual framework of terrorism laws should be scrapped in favour of a more common sense approach.”

The MCB said, “It is of utmost importance that the justice system is not inconsistent or seen to be inconsistent in its application of the law.”

The general public also reacted negatively to the CPS’s seemingly two tier application of anti-terror laws, with many people taking to twitter to voice their confusion and anger.

‘If you’re a Muslim, justice is not blind. But if you’re a white guy? Fair enough.’ tweeted @bluelimemedia from Vancouver, Canada.

‘If you are white and non-Muslim, terrorism charges don’t apply to you. You are just a “immature teenager”’ said @fz206. @hanidani added: ‘Soldier jailed for making nailbomb [sic] avoids terror charge…Oh, this is so kind of the hypocritical legal system.’

This is not the first time the CPS refused to use the Terrorism Acts with a far-right offenders.

In 2007 former British National Party candidate Robert Cottage was accused of planning to shoot Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and preparing for a race war in the UK.

Despite his extremist xenophobic views no charges were brought under any of the Terrorism laws.Instead Cottage was found guilty of possessing chemicals unlawfully and sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment. Like McGee’s case the police said Cottage was “not a terrorist”. And Police Superintendent Neil Smith insisted the largest haul of chemicals ever discovered in someone’s home in the country was “not a bomb factory”.

(The Muslim News, October 26, 2007)

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