By Chris Brooke
Frustrated air passenger arrested under Terrorism Act after Twitter joke about bombing airport
A man was arrested and held in police cells for seven hours as a suspected terrorist after making a joke on Twitter about blowing his local airport sky high.
Paul Chambers, 26, tapped out the comment to amuse friends because his planned trip to Ireland was under threat due to heavy snow at Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster.
‘C**p! Robin Hood Airport is closed,’ he tweeted. ‘You’ve got a week and a bit to get your s*** together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!’.
But a week later, police arrived at the finance superviser’s office to arrest him under the Terrorism Act – after an apparent anonymous tip-off.
‘My first thought upon hearing it was the police was that perhaps a member of my family had been in an accident,’ he said.
‘They said I was being arrested under the Terrorism Act and produced a piece of paper. It was a print-out of my Twitter page. That was when it dawned on me.
“I had to explain Twitter to them in its entirety because they’d never heard of it.
‘Then they asked all about my home life, and how work was going, and other personal things,’ he said.
‘The lead investigator kept asking, “Do you understand why this is happening?” and saying, “It is the world we live in”.
‘I would never have thought, in a thousand years, that any of this would have happened because of a Twitter post.
‘I’m the most mild-mannered guy you could imagine.’
Mr Chambers, from Doncaster, faces prosecution for conspiracy to create a bomb hoax and is also banned from Robin Hood Airport for life.
He has been released on bail but detectives confiscated his iPhone, laptop and home computer.
He said: ‘My advice to anyone using social networking sites is to be very careful what you say, we are living in a sensitive world and anything risque you post could be taken in the wrong way.’
Civil liberties campaigner Tessa Mayes said: ‘Making jokes about terrorism is considered a thought crime, mistakenly seen as a real act of harm or intention to commit harm.
‘The police’s actions seem laughable and suggest desperation in their efforts to combat terrorism, yet they have serious repercussions for all of us. In a democracy, our right to say what we please to each other should be non-negotiable, even on Twitter.’
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: ‘A male was arrested on 13 January for comments made on a social networking site. He has been bailed pending further investigations.’
By James Slack
Terror suspects set for payout after winning landmark human rights ruling over control orders
Terror suspects who were placed under virtual house arrest by the Government may claim thousands of pounds in compensation from the taxpayer.
The High Court ruled yesterday that two alleged fanatics given control orders by the Home Office had been denied their human right to a fair trial.
The men may now lodge compensation claims under Labour’s Human Rights Act. This is in addition to legal fees running to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
It is the latest in a series of blows to the control order regime administered by the courts.
Last night Home Secretary Alan Johnson said: ‘I’m very disappointed by this judgment and will be appealing in the strongest possible terms.
‘The Government argued strongly that these control orders were properly made for the purpose of protecting the public and that they should not be retrospectively quashed.
‘We will resist strongly paying damages to former subjects of control orders wherever possible, and to minimise the level of compensation where we have no choice but to pay.’
The men, known only as AE and AF, are among 45 suspects who have been placed under control orders, which involve lengthy curfews, since 2005.
AE, an Iraqi-Kurdish imam who is in his thirties with a young son, fled Iraq in 2002 and was given the right to stay in the UK. He is suspected of delivering extremist sermons and supporting the insurgency in Iraq, and was placed under 12-hour curfew in 2006.
AF was born in 1981 in Derby to an English mother and Libyan father. British authorities say he has links to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an extremist organisation opposed to Colonel Gaddafi, and he was placed under a 16-hour curfew.
Control orders were introduced after it was ruled that fanatics could no longer be held in prison without charge.
Originally, the orders were imposed on suspects without giving them the right to know any of the evidence held against them by the police and security services, a process that was criticised as Kafkaesque.
Last year the House of Lords ruled it was a breach of AE’s and AF’s right to a fair trial not to disclose the evidence, leaving the Home Office with the dilemma of allowing the orders to lapse or disclosing the secret evidence.
The orders have since been quashed and yesterday Mr Justice Silber said the men could now claim compensation from the Government.
Former shadow home secretary David Davis said: ‘Whilst I believe control orders are both draconian and ineffective, the idea that subjects should be awarded compensation is in my judgment entirely wrong.’
The Home Office has suffered a string of court defeats over anti-terror powers.
Last week, the European courts ruled it is illegal to stop and search people without having any reasonable grounds to suspect that they are involved in terrorism.
Comment from Benjamin Smith-Kavanagh:
The above articles deal with an increasingly common pattern seen in Britain and all around the world especially since 9/11 and 7/7, that pattern being the use of “Terrorist Acts/Laws” and emergency/special powers being used on innocent people that fifty or sixty years ago would have resulted in a massive revolt by the majority of the public against the Government and these “Terrorist Acts/Laws”.
Which if anyone reads show you can now be arrested and be charged with the use of secret evidence in which you and your legal team have no access to. For committing the ultimate crime of all, daring to speck your mind or as the control order article showed just being suspected of specking your mind will suffice for the authorities.
AE, an Iraqi-Kurdish imam who is in his thirties with a young son, fled Iraq in 2002 and was given the right to stay in the UK. He is suspected of delivering extremist sermons and supporting the insurgency in Iraq.
If you look at section 34 of the Terrorism Act 2006 you will see the legal definition of a Terrorist is worlds apart from the Government and media spin they sell to the public when trying to in-act these laws and when defending them, when the public realise they can, have and will be continued to be used on any one who might tell a joke or be suspected of telling a joke, post a comment on a website or dare question and challenge the Government on their policies and actions which for some reason always seem to produce the direct opposite of what they always claim their polices will do.
CHAPTER 11 Page 38
34 Amendment of the definition of “terrorism” etc.
In each of—
(a) section 1(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2000 (c. 11) (under which actions
and threats designed to influence a government may be terrorism), and
(b) section 113(1)(c) of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001
(c. 24) (offence of using noxious substances or things to influence a
government or to intimidate),
after “government” insert “or an international governmental organisation”.
as you can see from section 34 CHAPTER 11 of the Terrorism Act 2006, the British definition of Terrorism is any action and threat that is designed to influence a government may be deemed as an act of terrorism.
So technically you could say any opposition party may be terrorists, as everyday they make threats against the government and follow those threats up with actions that are designed to influence the Government I.E to change a certain policy/law or accept their proposals on different issues.
One example could be:
“we are not going to allow this Government to continue arresting innocent people under bogus terror charges and as such we are going to organise people and groups to take a stand against this Tyrannical Government and these unacceptable laws”
While it is highly unlikely that any main opposition party would first of all say and do such a thing and secondly that the Government would try and charge them under these “Terrorist Acts/Laws”. The point is the law is purposely so vague as to encompass almost anything a person or group may say or do, thus technically specking every one in Britain could be arrested under this terrorist act if the Government decided to. Also don’t forget this is just one section of a 48 page PDF document, if you were to read the whole act you might be shocked to find out the idea of freedom in Britain is now nothing more then an illusion.
Another thing most people might have missed is that section 34 says “Terrorism is any action and threat that is designed to influence a government” as in any Government around the world whether they are a free and just Government or if they are an open Dictatorship like China. Under this law you could be arrested in Britain if you posted a comment or told a joke the Chinese Government did not like and called an act of terrorism, Turkey would be another example with a proven history of arresting, charging and censoring people and groups for daring to speck their mind.
If you think a situation like this could never happen, you just have to look at how Britain is fast becoming the libel Capitol of the world, where people from all around the world open a libel case or seek an injunction or gag order in Britain, to try and sue or stop papers/TV/radio/Websites Etc. in other Nations like Germany/Ivory Coast/USA from publishing/reporting something a person or organisation do not like. The most recent and high profile example of this is when a Brittish law firm Carter-Ruck representing the oil company Trafigura done the unthinkable and succeded in temporarly getting an gag order against the publishing or reporting of a Brittish Government Parlimentary question, because the question was about Trafigura, offering to pay compensation to 31,000 victims of pollution caused by waste dumped in Ivory Coast, This gag order was overturned.
By ELAINE EDWARDS
‘Guardian’ claims ‘gag’ victory
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, said: “The media laws in this country increasingly place newspapers in a Kafkaesque world in which we cannot tell the public anything about information which is being suppressed, nor the proceedings which suppress it. It is doubly menacing when those restraints include the reporting of parliament itself.”
The Twitter joke case proves that Britain is on par with China if not worse in terms of being a free and open society were people can speck their mind freely without being arrested and jailed because they said something the Government does not approve of.
But how could Britain be worse then China most people might ask? Its simple most people know China is a dictatorship were the people are treated as slaves. But in Britain with the massive Government propaganda machine working overtime, on many different issues that are apart of the Government agenda and with most of the mainstream media singing the same tune “everyone is equal” and “everyone is important” except for suspected terrorists, “these laws will only be used on people who want to hurt you and your family” Etc. Means a lot people still believe Britain is a free and open socieity that values human rights.
While they may have most of the public convinced that all these terror laws will only be used on terrorists, what most people don’t realise is that to the British government and Governments around the world, everyone could potentially be a terrorist, hence the naked body scanners which have being around for years but only after another much hyped up terror threat, have Governments being able to get most people to accept being degraded and treated like a slave as some how being good. Cause there could be terrorists every where who want to take away your freedom.
I’m sure If you were to ask Paul Chambers before he posted ‘C**p! Robin Hood Airport is closed,’ ‘You’ve got a week and a bit to get your s*** together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!’.
If he thought he would and could be charged under terrorist laws for posting a joke to his friends, he most likely would have told you “don’t be absurd it’s just a joke” or “it’s not like I live in China”. But like so many others who have being charged under these and similar terrorism Acts/Laws in-acted around the world, he is now finding out the hard way that freedom in this modern world means not being able to say 2+2=4.
Or as the lead inspector who arrested Paul Chambers said:
“Do you understand why this is happening?”, “It is the world we live in”.