Three years in jail for man who sold on terrorist CDs

Terence Brown at Winchester Magistrates' Court
Terence Brown at Winchester Magistrates' Court
Paul Nelson outside Portsmouth Crown Court at an earlier hearing

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A MAN who used the July 7 London bombings as a marketing tool to sell a terror handbook has been jailed for three years.

Terence Brown, 47, was jailed for making CDs containing tens of thousands of pages of information at his home in Portsmouth.

Topics included ‘how to make a letter bomb’ and ‘how to enter countries illegally’.

Brown had been selling the CDs online before July 2005, but after the bombings, a trial at Winchester Crown Court had heard how he saw this as a business opportunity. He downloaded extra information for the CDs and relaunched his website with slogans mentioning the bombings and stating: ‘Order now before the CDs are banned.’ Sales immediately leapt.

In jailing him, Mr Justice William Blair said: ‘Your use of the July 7, 2005 London bombings as a marketing tool was not just irresponsible but incredibly cynical.

‘It must have crossed your mind that the information could have been used in other similar incidents here or in other countries. But that in no way deterred you.’

The prosecution said the information, sold as The Anarchist Cookbook, could have been used by terrorists to plan and commit atrocities.

Brown, of Whitworth Road in Copnor, denied the charges and told the jury during the three-week trial that he only did it to make money and that the information was freely available on the internet.

He made about £60,000 from the sales.

But he was found guilty by a jury in just four hours.

He was convicted of seven counts of collecting information that could have been used to prepare or commit acts of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000, two counts of selling and distributing the information under the Terrorism Act 2006 and a further count under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The court heard at sentencing how Brown had previously served two years after pleading guilty to three counts of selling counterfeit software worth up to £250,000 in 1999,

Imran Khan, defending, said Brown had made no attempts to hide the nature of his business, believing it to be legal, but now realised using the bombings to market the CDs ‘was a misjudgement he bitterly regrets’.

But he added Brown was not a terrorist and he did not have any religious, political or ideological motivations.

‘He was blinded by the money and his judgement obscured by the financial imperative,’ he said.

‘Having been convicted he has the label of terrorism on him. He will be stigmatised by that for the rest of his life.’