Terror suspect cleared

A MAN arrested in Ipswich with an explosives manual in his shoebox is today waiting to be extradited to France after being cleared of a terror charge.An Old Bailey jury found Frenchman Jacques Abi-Ayad not guilty of having documents likely to be of use to a terrorist.

A MAN arrested in Ipswich with an explosives manual in his shoebox is today waiting to be extradited to France after being cleared of a terror charge.

An Old Bailey jury found Frenchman Jacques Abi-Ayad not guilty of having documents likely to be of use to a terrorist.

Abi-Ayad, of Gippeswyk Road, Ipswich, had downloaded the Anarchists' Cookbook from the internet and copied some of the instructions.

The 40-year-old, who denied a charge under the Terrorism Act, told the court he was fantasising about making a firebomb to get revenge on a man in France he had clashed with - but had no intention of doing it.


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Abi-Ayad, who is of Algerian descent, had pleaded guilty to four forgery charges involving a fake passport, two driving licences and a French identity card.

Mr Justice Treacy jailed him for 18 months concurrently on each charge.

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The court was told that Abi-Ayad had been on the run in England after a man was stabbed in Metz, France.

He had been convicted in his absence in October 2002 of attempted murder and sentenced to life.

A warrant for extradition would be served on him and he would be returned to France to face new proceedings after serving his sentence.

The judge said Abi-Ayad would probably be released in January after serving half his sentence.

He was satisfied that the documents had been manufactured by Abi-Ayad in order for him to remain and work in Britain.

The judge said: "Your creation and possession of these items was not for terrorism purposes."

But he said there was increasing public concern, particularly in the light of increasing risk of terrorism.

Abi-Ayad was arrested in April after trying to use false documents to get a National Insurance number.

The explosives manual was found in a shoebox with forged documents.

The prosecution said it was up to the defence to show he had a "reasonable excuse'" for having the manual which gave details on how to make bombs.

Abi-Ayad said he had copied a section on making firebombs at a time when he felt angry at being convicted in France in his absence.

He added: "After I learned I was condemned for life, I was angry. It was some sort of an idea to take revenge because I was being blocked in England.

"Some people prefer a punchbag. I prefer to imagine how to deal with revenge on somebody. It was just for me."

Detective Sergeant Alan Slater, of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist squad, told the court that there was no evidence that Abi-Ayad had any links to terrorists.

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