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Shooting in Alum Rock

Police are carrying out searches in Alum Rock after a man was shot in the arm.

An area at the junction of Belchers Lane and Cotterills Lane is cordoned off while specialist search officers examine the scene.

The 36-year-old man was shot in his car at around midnight and was taken to hospital for treatment. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

Birmingham man found guilty of possessing terrorism literature

A Birmingham postal worker has today been found guilty of possessing terrorist literature, including detailed instructions of how to make a bomb and blow up buildings.

The jury at Southwark Crown Court delivered a majority verdict, convicting 45-year old Mohammed Benares on three counts of possessing documents or records containing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

Benares, from the Alum Rock area of Birmingham, was arrested in March last year by officers from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit.

Benares was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on July 15.


Full report Monday: man on trial accused of possessing extremist material

A jury has heard that a man from Birmingham possessed extremist material that included a guide on how to make bombs at home in the kitchen.

Mohammed Benares has gone on trial charged with three counts of possessing information, contrary to the Terrorism Act.

Mr Benares denies the charges. Charlotte Grant sent this report from London.

Prosecution alleges Benares attended a demonstration on September 11th 2011

The prosecution also alleges Benares attended a demonstration outside the American Embassy on September 11th 2011, to coincide with the anniversary of the World Trade Centre attacks, which Anjem Choudhary and Abu Izzadeen also attended.

In police interviews, the court heard the defendant said that as a Muslim he was curious about news and wanted to see what he described as the 'other side', to counterbalance any argument.

Benares is also said to have stated that he had not read any of the Inspire magazines downloaded.

Mohamed Benares denies the charges. The trial continues.

Defendant's mobile phone also examined

Seven copies of a document called '39 ways to serve and participate in Jihad' were also allegedly downloaded and stored on the defendant's three hard drives. The jury also heard Mr Benares had done a number of internet searches and appeared to have been a registered user of an extremist website.

As well as alleged computer evidence, the jury was also told the defendant's mobile phone was examined - showing a number of text messages between Benares and two known extremists: Anjem Choudhary, the former leader of proscribed terrorist group Al Mahajiroun, and convicted terrorist Abu Izzadeen.

'None of the downloads were accidental' claims prosecution

Prosecuting, Ms Adina Ezekial said,

Mr Benares had saved and backed up the copies of the magazine, as well as downloaded different versions of it. He has several copies in different locations and in some instances, organised the files by renaming and saving themm.

She went on,

None of the downloads were accidental...there was no inadvertent downloading.

– Ms Adina Ezekial, Prosecution


'A number of different articles' possessed by defendant in terror documents trial

The court was told Mr Benares had a number of different articles, stored on a number of different computer hard drives.

In total he is said to have possessed 53 editions of something called 'Inspire', described as an Al Qaeda magazine. One of the articles contained step-by-step instructions on constructing a home-made bomb, as well as guidelines on producing explosive materials and training with a Kalashnikov rifle.

Prosecution puts forward its opening arguments in terror documents trial

The prosecution has put forward its opening arguments in the trial of 45-year-old Mohammed Benares from Alum Rock, Birmingham.

Opening the trial, the prosecution said Mr Benares knew he had information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, that he was aware of the information - and that he had no reasonable excuse for possessing it.

Man remains in custody over Alum Rock death

Police are continuing to hold a man in custody on suspicion of murdering a Birmingham mother-of-five.

Police said they found a woman with serious injuries in a house in Alum Rock on Monday (19 November) afternoon after responding to an emergency call.

The woman, who is yet to be formally identified, was taken to hospital but died a short while later.

Police believe the victim is 33-year-old Shaista Khatoon who lived at the address.

Investigating officer Chief Inspector Wayne Jones, said:

"Although we're clearly at a very early stage in the investigation we understand that the victim and her attacker were known to one another.

"The death is particularly tragic, as a mother has been taken from her young children.

"Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family of the victim."

– Investigating officer Chief Inspector Wayne Jones
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