Roshanara Choudhry, a 21-year-old student who has been jailed for life for trying to assassinate British MP Stephen Timms in May this year, told police she had wanted to die as a martyr after watching more than 100 hours of video sermons from the American-born extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki on the internet.
She also said that she had been learning more about Islam those days, and Awlaki’s sermons on YouTube made her believe that “we shouldn’t allow the people who oppress us to get away with it“.
“I downloaded the full set of Anwar al-Awlaki’s lectures,” Choudhry told police, saying that she listened to more than 100 hours of them.
The effect of listening to and viewing the cleric’s video was such that she chose to withdraw from contact with her friends and ended her studies, quitting as the top student in her course at King’s College London on 27 April this year before carrying out her attack on 14 May.
Meanwhile, YouTube has reportedly started removing hundreds of videos of Awlaki, the radical cleric based in Yemen who has been linked to several terrorist plots against the US and the UK, under the instructions of American and British authorities.
Background: Woman stabbed MP “in revenge for Iraq war vote”.