The woman responsible was named as Roshonara Choudhry, a 21 year old from the area. A BBC report from July noted:
Why did she refuse to enter a plea? Is that in any way significant?
Roshonara Choudhry, 21, of Central Park Road, East Ham, east London, is charged with attempted murder and possessing an offensive weapon.
She refused to enter a plea when appearing at the Old Bailey via videolink.
Apparently so. Whilst the mass media did its best to prevent much in the way of detail about the case leaking out, one of the security guards who restrained Choudhry until the police arrived let slip that she was "an Asian woman wearing a head covering."
The media did its best to avoid speculating and dwelling on such points. However, it turns out her refusal to enter a plea was significant, as the reason emerged at yesterday's trial:
Choudhary, who had refused to appear in court, told her barrister Jeremy Dein QC she did not accept the court's jurisdiction and did not wish him to challenge the prosecution case.Yesterday she was convicted of the attempted murder of Mr Timms, and of two counts of possessing an offensive weapon (she thoughtfully took along a second knife to attack Timms, "in case the first one snapped"). This morning she was sentenced to life in prison, and must serve a minimum of 15 years.
It turns out she stabbed Mr Timms because he voted for the Iraq war. It also turns out that, when arrested, she was in possession of a "hit list" of other MPs who had done likewise, all of whom she intended to harm if possible.
Now, the really surpising bit; it turns out that she had been "a moderate Muslim student who had been looking forward to a career in teaching before watching the videos."
The videos described are sermons by Anwar al-Awlaki which Choudhry found on the internet.
So, here we have it; yet another poor, innocent "moderate Muslim" corrupted by those evil extremists to misunderstand their peaceful creed. Just an ordinary British girl, really, could have happened to anyone, I'm sure.
The attack by this poor corrupted moderate Muslim on Mr Timms was described thus:
Oddly, the BBC report does not mention the terms "jihad" or "political assassination" (although they do acknowledge she's a Muslim, which is a fairly large step forward for them). The Daily Mail is slightly closer to the mark:
During the half-day trial William Boyce QC, prosecuting, said Choudhry told police she attacked Mr Timms, 55, as a "punishment" and "to get revenge for the people of Iraq".
Jurors heard she made an appointment to see the MP at Beckton community centre on 14 May.
When she arrived she smiled as she walked up to him, acting as if to shake his hand, before lunging at him with a kitchen knife.
Mr Timms told the court: "She looked friendly. She was smiling, if I remember rightly."
Choudhry stabbed Mr Timms, sending him "reeling and staggering" as his assistant prised the knife from her.
She was held in a "bear hug" by a security guard until the police arrived.
Mr Boyce said Miss Choudhry told police she made the appointment solely for the purpose of attacking him.
She had two knives with her in case one broke during the attack.
In a police interview the next day she said: "I was not going to stop until someone made me.
"I wanted to kill him... I was going to get revenge for the people of Iraq."
Her attack on the former Treasury minister is thought to be the first Al Qaeda-inspired attempt to assassinate a politician on British soil.The judge alluded to much the same in his summing up:
Mr Justice Cooke, sentencing Choudhry, said: 'You said you ruined the rest of your life. You said it was worth it. You said you wanted to be a martyr'.So, what's the solution to all of this? Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Neville-Jones thinks she might have the answer; attempting to block videos made by extreme Muslim clerics which "have incitement to murder, when you have people actively calling for the killing of fellow citizens and when you have the means to stop that person doing so, then I believe we should act.
The judge said Choudhry would continue to be a danger to Members of Parliament for the foreseeable future.
The judge said that if Choudhry had succeeded in killing Mr Timms he would have given her a whole-life sentence, meaning she would never be released.
He told her: 'You intended to kill in a political cause and to strike at those in Government by doing so.
'Those websites would categorically not be allowed in the UK.
'They incite cold-blooded murder and as such are surely contrary to the public good."
So, the normal head in the sand tactics, then.
Of course it would be beyond the Baroness, or anyone else involved, to see that Choudhry identified first and foremost with the people of Iraq over Timms and other British citizens - because they are Muslims, and we are not.
Thus, we will always come second. Don't shout that too loudly though - it may be the truth, but it's probably racist or something.
It's quite clear to me that what has been "contrary to the public good" is mass immigration from the Third, and especially the Muslim worlds.
That is what is ultimately responsible for this - not the ability to watch such videos in Britain, but the fact that the country is now full of those who will act on their message without compunction because they despise us, even as they live off of us.
Quite what it is going to take to get that message across, I don't know. This was a terrorist attack, plain and simple, and the media simply ignored that aspect, because it is not conducive to their agenda.
Stephen Timms survived and Choudhry is now in jail, but surely the point of an attack such as this is that every elected representative will have it in their mind when they are asked to vote, especially on certain issues; how many represent what the Muslim Council of Britain has the audacity to call a "very diverse constituency, including many Muslims"?
Diversity and democracy simply do not mix.
From the updated Daily Mail article:
After the sentence was passed, a group of men began shouting in the public gallery 'Allahu akbar' ('God is great'), 'British go to hell' and 'Curse the judge'.Yep, it's clearly all about those pesky videos.
A demonstration was also taking place outside the court.
The evil Right-wing Mail describes the actions of the men as "the public gallery erupting in protest".
Let's hope the judge showed some backbone and called it "contempt of court" followed by a free trip to the cells, although I doubt it.