Anthrax 'guilty' plea


A man who sent a letter containing powder to the JC’s offices has pleaded guilty to seven offences, five of them religiously aggravated.

The charges faced by Ashraf Ali, who appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court on Wednesday, related to two offences of blackmail, four counts of racial or religiously aggravated harassment and one count of religiously aggravated intentional harassment.

In October 2001, the JC received an envelope containing white powder and a note saying “All Jews Die”, “World Trade Centre” and “Pentagon”. Police later confirmed the powder was not anthrax or any other dangerous substance.

Ali, 31, also targeted other Jewish organisations, including Portsmouth and Southsea Hebrew Congregation and Southampton Synagogue. He will be sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court on Friday June 20.

l A 52-year-old man who was last week charged with a communications offence after allegedly sending racist and antisemitic emails to journalists and politicians, including to the JC, has been charged with a further 10 offences.

Seven of the new charges which Maher Khammash now faces relate to the JC, which received 54 separate communications.

One charge relates to the Football Association, which was also a victim.

He was due to appear at Uxbridge Magistrates yesterday.

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