A gang of British born, devout Muslims who were planning to launch a bombing campaign on the streets of Britain in order to cause maximum chaos and destruction, brings yet another example of the extreme threat the UK is under due to home grown Jihadist cells.
The Midlands based, Muslim gang raised funds through a Muslim aid charity, which was used to fund their terrorist cause, one of the Muslims described their planned terror campaign as “another 9/11”
A gang of Muslim Jihadists planned to launch a bombing campaign to eclipse the London attacks of 7/7, a court heard today.
One of the plotters even described the plot as “another 9/11”, the jury was told.
It is alleged they aimed to detonate eight rucksack bombs in suicide attacks to cause mass death.
Woolwich crown court heard that two had made martyrdom videos at a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, ready for release to the world once the attacks had succeeded.
Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, deny engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts between Christmas Day 2010 and September last year.
They were among 11 people rounded up by anti-terrorist officers in the West Midlands.
Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, said: “Police successfully disrupted a plan to commit an act or acts of terrorism on a scale potentially greater than the London bombings in July 2005, had it been allowed to run its course.
“Although the finer details had not been worked out and agreed on, the defendants were preparing to detonate up to eight rucksack bombs on a suicide attack, and/or detonate bombs on targets in crowded areas to cause mass death and casualties.
“One of them was even to describe their plan as another 9/11.”
The gang was a “homegrown terrorist cell,” the court heard. The 11 arrested and charged were of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin. They include a young woman who was the estranged wife of one of the alleged plotters. All 11 have been charged with a variety of terrorist offences.
The three defendants, all from Birmingham, were described as “central figures in the plot”.
Naseer, who was known as “Chubbs” or “Big Irfan”, had a chemistry degree from Aston University.
Mr Altman said: “It was his knowledge of chemistry, plus his training in terrorism in Pakistan, which allowed the defendants to experiment in producing an explosive mix, with a view to constructing a homemade explosive device in the kitchen [of Ali’s one-bedroom flat] in the days leading up to the arrest of the defendants and others.”
It is alleged that during terrorist training in Pakistan, Naseer and Khalid were taught how to make weapons and poisons — techniques they hoped to deploy in this country.
They both made martyrdom videos in Pakistan, the court heard, and returned to Britain in July last year.
Mr Altman said they sought to spread what they had learned to others in this country: “The defendants were trying to recruit others to join them, some were sent abroad to train in terrorism and others joined them in using charity funds to raise money for terrorist purposes.”
The court heard that the defendants were jihadists who had been influenced by the lectures and writings of Anwar Al-Awlaki, a US-born extremist of Yemini descent who was an affiliate of al Qaeda on the Arabian peninsula.
All the defendants are British born and raised in the Birmingham area where they hatched their plot.
Khalid, known as “little Irfan” or “Sylvester”, worked in 2010 as a security guard.
Ali’s flat was used as a safe house.
He was estranged from his wife and cut himself off from his family so he could concentrate on jihad, the court heard.
Nasser, Khalid and others made street collections for the Muslim Aid charity which they diverted to their terrorist cause.
“The defendants and those they employed to raise funds with them were despicably stealing from their own community money donated to charity,” said Mr Altman.
They wore high visibility jackets and shook buckets on the streets of Birmingham.
Rahin Ahmed, who has pleaded guilty to preparing for terrorist acts, was the chief fundraiser and banked just over 13,500 pounds.
But the court heard he gambled 14,500 on the Forex in a a capital markets trading account to try and increase his profits but ended up losing 9,000.
In the end Muslim Aid received only 1,500 and an Islamic learning centre 900 of the money raised.
Nasser and Ahmed sent four other young men to a Pakistan training camp and all four have pleaded guilty, jurors were told.
Al-Awlaki was killed in September last year by an American drone only 12 days after the defendants had been arrested.
Mr Altam added: “All of the defendants made the deliberate decision to become a terrorist following what they believed to be the right path dictated by their extremist religious and ideological belief.”
The case continues.
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