There are now 4 students facing charges solely under the "Thought Crime" of Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 Collection of information
The "catch all" Section 58 now seems to be used much more widely than previously..
The details of these latest 4 cases have obviously not yet emerged, but it is very worrying that the only charges against the 4 students are under this Section 58 i.e. there is obviously not enough evidence of any firearms, explosives, terrorist finance, or even of an actual conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism.
That the media reports below, suggest that the alleged terrorism is "abroad", rather than in the UK is also significant . What exactly is the alleged risk to the UK ?
One of the students is apparently a forensic science student . Once the finger and state machinery of suspicion have been pointed at such a person, is there anything in their textbooks, course material or internet related studies which cannot be construed to be "information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism" ?
How many of the readers of this blog e.g those with a. technical education or journalists or even policemen, also have the same sort of knowledge. which if they write it down or save it on their computer, could also be construed as being "information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism" ?
The BBC reports
Two more charged under terror act Another two teenage students have been charged with terrorist offences.
Aitzaz Zafar, 18 and Usman Malik, 19, both from Bradford, have been charged under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act, Scotland Yard said.
They are accused of possessing a record of information likely to be useful to a terrorist and will appear before Bow Street Magistrates on Friday.
Irfan Raja, 18, from Ilford, Essex, and 19-year-old Awaab Iqbal are accused of making a record of information likely to be useful to a terrorist.
Lawyers for the pair indicated both would be pleading not guilty - counsel for Mr Iqbal saying the charges had "absolutely no foundation".
Mr Iqbal was arrested at his home in Bradford last week.
The first-year forensic science student, who studies at Bradford University, had an application for bail refused.
Earlier, Mr Raja had made no application for bail.
Prosecutor Deborah Walsh said the charge against Mr Raja related to information he had allegedly collated and downloaded using a computer.