Friday, March 28, 2008

Terrorist Released Early and the BBC

The Government confirmed today that they released a convicted terrorist early because of prison overcrowding. Yassin Nassari was convicted of possessing documents likely to be useful to a terrorist. These included blueprints for Qassam rockets as used by Hamas against Israeli civilians. Included with these plans were details on how to construct the rockets, explosives and propellants.

The BBC report is again shocking. For a start the headline reads:

Terrorism convict released early
By normal standards a person convicted of terrorism offences is a terrorist. But apparently the BBC cannot bring itself to use that word even when a court has convicted the individual.

The report also says:
A man convicted of a terrorism offence has been released 17 days early
Given that Mr Nassari was arrested in May 2006 and sentenced to three and a half years in prison that makes his release more than a year and a half early. The point is clarified 9 paragraphs later:
Nassari would have been eligible for release 18 days later, having served enough of his sentence to be considered for parole.
In other words this "man convicted of a terrorism offence" was released 17 days earlier than his early release.

It's difficult to tell what is worse, that the Government is forced to release prisoners earlier than their already early release because they have allowed the situation to become so bad, or that the BBC finds it impossible to call someone a terrorist even when they've been convicted by the courts.

UPDATE: A new story on the BBC site does call him a "terrorist" in the headline. But the old story has not been changed.