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Woman sentenced over terrorism documents


GUILTY: Houria Chahed Chentouf was sentenced for possessing document which related to terrorism

A WOMAN caught with a memory stick containing thousands of documents relating to terrorism has been sentenced

Houria Chahed Chentouf, 41, of Reynell Road, Longsight, pleaded guilty to possessing documents or records containing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, namely the Explosive Manual for the Brothers of Mujahideen and The Military Use of Explosives.

She was sentenced to two years for each count to run concurrently on Monday 2 November 2009. She is also subject to a Notification Order under the Counter Terrorism Act 2008 for five years.

Chentouf was stopped at Liverpool’s John Lennon airport on 16 October 2008 under the Terrorism Act 2000.

This was under Schedule 7, which gives designated people at ports the authority to stop, search and detain people travelling in or out of the UK to determine whether they are concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

Pen drive

PACKED: The pen drive contained around 7000 files relating to terrorism.

When Chentouf was searched a pen drive, which had been tied and concealed in the sleeve of her Burqa fell to the floor.

Chentouf had used threads from her Burqa to tie the pen drive into her sleeve.

Initial examination of the pen drive revealed it contained more than 7000 files the majority of which related to terrorism. Around 6,500 of these had been added to the pen drive two days before Chentouf travelled to Liverpool.

Around 90 per cent of the material recovered was in Arabic or Dutch and each one had to be translated. Some of the files were 976 pages long. Translation of all the documents took more than 12,000 hours.

Training Camp Construction 1

SCARY: Images were found of terrorist training excercises

On Friday 17 October 2008, the North West Counter Terrorism Unit (NW CTU) formally arrested Chentouf at her home in Longsight. Her house was then searched.

Chentouf is of dual nationality and had travelled into Liverpool from her home in Holland so contact was made with Dutch police. They carried out searches alongside officers from NW CTU.

Six computers were recovered in the UK and a further four were recovered in Holland with an external hard drive and other electronic media. A number of other documents were recovered from both addresses.

In total, over 1.6 terrabytes of hard disc space was recovered and it is believed if all the documentation was printed it would have been enough to fill two full floors of Marks and Spencer in Manchester city centre.

Two warrants of further detention were applied for and Chentouf was kept in custody until 31 October 2008 when she was charged under the Terrorism Act.

Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Porter of North West Counter Terrorism Unit said: “The pen drive did not contain any personal material, it was mainly used to store material that could be used to promote terrorism.

“While it is fair to say we cannot be sure what Chentouf was preparing to do with this information, the fact she had this documentation in her possession constitutes a serious offence.”

Anyone with concerns about suspicious activity is urged to contact the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321.

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