Woman jailed for stabbing UK politician over Iraq | Pakistan Today

Woman jailed for stabbing UK politician over Iraq

LONDON: A female student, thought to have been converted to violence by a radical preacher being hunted in Yemen, was jailed for life on Wednesday for trying to murder a British politician in revenge for him voting for the Iraq war.
Roshonara Choudhry, 21, knifed former Treasury Minister Stephen Timms twice in the stomach during an advice surgery at an east London community centre in May.
A security source told Reuters on Tuesday the student had been radicalised by listening to sermons issued online by Anwar al-Awlaki, a preacher based in Yemen who is wanted by Washington for links to al Qaeda.
“You said you ruined the rest of your life. You said it was worth it. You said you wanted to be a martyr,” said Mr Justice Cooke, sentencing Choudhry at the Old Bailey in central London.
Choudhry, who had told police she had attacked the opposition Labour politician as a punishment and to get revenge for the people of Iraq, will serve a minimum of 15 years.
The judge said she would continue to be a danger to lawmakers for the foreseeable future. The decision to go to war was the most controversial episode of the former Labour government ousted in May, provoking huge protests and accusations that the then prime minister, Tony Blair, had deceived the public about the reasons for the invasion.
Awlaki, and other propagandists of the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), have urged followers in the West to attack whatever targets they can find with whatever weapon is available.
Yemen on Tuesday launched a major operation to capture Awlaki, who has also been linked to a failed bombing of a US-bound plane in December 2009 claimed by Yemen’s al Qaeda wing and to a US army major who killed 13 people in a shooting spree last year at Fort Hood in Texas. Two parcel bombs intercepted last week on cargo planes in Britain and Dubai are also thought to be the work of AQAP, U.S. and British officials say.



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