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Hit list of UK lawmakers removed from site

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: Website was hosted by Google's Blogger
  • NEW: Site has been removed, but Google doesn't comment about specific sites
  • A blog posted a list of British lawmakers who voted for the Iraq war
  • The British Home Office had expressed concern

London, England (CNN) -- A hit list of British lawmakers who voted for the Iraq war with instructions for meeting them in person was taken down from a website Friday after the British Home Office expressed concern, the office said.

The list, posted Thursday on the U.S.-hosted blog, contained a link for buying a knife online and said Muslims should be inspired to "raise the knife of jihad," or holy war, against those who voted for action in Iraq.

A spokesman for the Home Office said Britain encouraged its U.S. counterparts to remove the content from the Internet.

"We should all stand up against extremists. We have raised this with our overseas counterparts to encourage them to remove this content from the website," read a statement from the Home Office on Friday.

"We are determined to tackle extremism and always press for the removal of jihadist material on the Internet. Where sites are hosted abroad, our ability to close them down is limited."

Later, the website disappeared from its hosting site, Google's Blogger. Google would not discuss any action taken or not taken against a specific website, but provided a generic statement about its policies.

"The internet has allowed anyone to publish their thoughts to the world through websites, blogs, tweets, and many other forms of expression," the statement said. "Google is one of many companies that helps people do this. Like others, we have policies that aim to draw the line between free expression and prohibiting inappropriate or dangerous content, which we remove when it is reported to us. What we can't do, and which few people would want a private company to do, is check what people want to post online before they do so. The truth is that the price we pay for the huge advances the internet has enabled in free expression is that inevitably offensive or even illegal content may appear for a time, but we have clear rules and will continue to apply them to material brought to our attention."

A cached version of the blog post showed a list of the members of Parliament (MPs) who voted for the Iraq war and a link to a site with their local office hours for meeting constituents.

It also included dozens of quotes from the Quran and a link to the text of The Book of Jihad, which advocates holy war.

It was widely reported that Londoner Roshonara Choudhry read the book days before she stabbed MP Stephen Timms in May for voting for the Iraq war. He survived, and Choudhry was sentenced this week to life in prison for the crime.

The blog specified Timms' office hours and expressed support for Choudhry.

"We ask Allah to keep her safe and secure, to hasten her release and to reward this heroine immensely," the site said. "We ask Allah for her action to inspire Muslims to raise the knife of jihad against those who voted for the countless rapes, murders, pillages, and torture of Muslim civilians as a direct consequence of their vote."

CNN's Erin McLaughlin contributed to this report.