Nine men who plotted to bomb the London Stock Exchange and build a terrorist training camp have been jailed. Three of the men – all members of an al-Qaeda inspired terror group – received indeterminate sentences for public protection at London’s Woolwich Crown Court.
The court heard they had planned to raise funds for a terrorist camp in Pakistan and recruit Britons to attend.
The nine come from Stoke-on-Trent, Cardiff and London.
In sentencing, the judge described all the men – who are British nationals of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin – as Islamic fundamentalists.
The three to receive indeterminate sentences for the terror camp plan included Mohammed Shahjahan 27, of Stoke-on-Trent, who was jailed for a minimum term of eight years and 10 months.
Usman Khan, 20, and Nazam Hussain, 26, also from Stoke-on-Trent, were ordered to serve at least eight years.
Judge Mr Justice Wilkie said these three were “the more serious jihadists” and said they should not be released until they were no longer a threat to the public.
The court heard they planned to establish the terrorist camp on land in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir owned by Khan’s family and encourage a “significant” number of British Muslims to undergo training there.
Khan and Hussain planned to travel to the camp and receive military instruction themselves before “obtaining first-hand terrorist experience in Kashmir”, the hearing was told.
Passing sentence, Mr Justice Wilkie said this was a “serious, long-term venture in terrorism” that could also have resulted in atrocities in the UK…
Four others, who all pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism by planning to plant a bomb in the toilets of the London Stock Exchange, were:
Gurukanth Desai, 30, from Cardiff: 12 years
Abdul Miah, 25, from Cardiff: 16 years, 10 months
Mohammed Chowdhury, 22, from London: 13 years, 8 months
Shah Rahman, 28, from London: 12 years
Omar Latif, 28, from Cardiff, admitted attending meetings with the intention of assisting others to prepare or commit acts of terrorism. He was given a sentence of 10 years and 4 months.
Mohibur Rahman, 28, from London, was given a five-year sentence after he admitted to possessing two editions of an al-Qaeda magazine for terrorist purposes.
All nine men were arrested in December 2010. Each pleaded guilty to terrorism charges on the eve of their trial at Woolwich Crown Court.
Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting, said between them the nine men possessed “almost every famous jihadi publication” including copies of an online al-Qaeda magazine called Inspire which carries features such as how to “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom”.
He told the court the nine had decided to form a group in October 2010 to “support and commit acts of terrorism in furtherance of their religious belief”.
– BBC News
Okay, this is scary. NOT that there was another plot to bomb London – that’s pretty much a quarterly event. NOT EVEN their apparent obsession with bombing the toilets of variously the LSX (previously attempted by the IRA in 1990) and pubs/clubs around Stoke. No, what gives me the screaming abdabs is the thought that Al Q’aeda has an in-house magazine, called “Inspire”.
I mean, can’t you guys read PRON like normal jihadis?!
(SL’s review of “Four Lions”, a comedy on the British jihadi experience, may be found here and is highly recommended.)
UPDATE 11/02/12:- as pointed out by the ever eagle-eyed KVD in the comments, I wasn’t able to find room for contestant number nine, Mohammed Choudhrey (he’s the little Jesus impersonator in a white dress in the group photo carried by the BBC story) who was the closest thing they had to a ringleader.
Ring, certainly. Leader? Might be pushing it.
So here’s a special single frame. The photo is taken from his days with Anjem Choudary, the islamist preacher behind the now proscribed group Al-Muhajiroun who you might remember from the Danish cartoon protests (the “Behead those who insult islam” placards probably ring a bell) and threats to protest military funerals through Wootton Bassett. Supposedly this little charmer didn’t feel that successor group Islam4UK – the ones rescued by the police when they turned up to protest the Royal Anglian Regiment homecoming parade in Luton – or poppy-burners Muslims Against Crusades – were extreme enough for his taste. The Home Office disagreed and they’re now banned too. Anjem has come up in my cartoons previously.