SIX Islamic extremists have admitted planning a bloody attack on a far-right rally in West Yorkshire in a plot that failed only by chance despite one of them being under surveillance.
The six admitted preparing an act of terrorism between May 1 and July 4 last year when they appeared at London’s Woolwich Crown Court.
They had previously denied the charge but Jewel Uddin, 27, Omar Mohammed Khan, 31, Mohammed Hasseen, 24, Anzal Hussain, 24, Mohammed Saud, 22, and Zohaib Ahmed, 22, changed their pleas.
They will be sentenced on June 6 with Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, the Recorder of Greenwich, warning them: “This will attract significant custody. There is no doubt about that.”
The murderous plan targeting the English Defence League (EDL) fell apart because the gathering in Dewsbury, finished earlier than expected.
Police and security services had no intelligence about the planned attack on June 30 last year, although Uddin was under surveillance in relation to another terrorist plan.
Ahmed was also on bail for possession of terrorist documents at the time of the plot.
All of the men except Hasseen travelled to the rally armed with two shotguns, swords, knives, a nail bomb containing 458 pieces of shrapnel, and a partially assembled pipe bomb, ready to cause mass injuries and deaths.
The nail bomb was an 18-inch (46cm) long rocket which was stuffed with shrapnel and was to be powered by explosives taken from at least two large fireworks.
Police estimated there could have been up to 750 EDL marchers at the Dewsbury event, but also dozens of officers and innocent passers-by.
The fanatics’ plan failed by chance, because they arrived at 4pm when the rally had dispersed by 2pm.
The planned atrocity was only uncovered because a traffic officer stopped Uddin and Khan on the M1 as they travelled home to Birmingham.
Checks showed their Renault Laguna was uninsured, so the car was impounded.
Two days later staff at the pound near Sheffield looked at the contents of the Renault and found the gang’s arsenal.
There were also 10 copies of a hate-filled note addressed to the enemies of Islam, the Queen and Prime Minister David Cameron.
It said: “This is a message to the enemies of Allah and his messenger. This is a message to the kafir (non-believer) female devil and self-proclaimed Queen Elizabeth and her accursed jubilee, fooling a nation of blind sheep to your self-proclaimed royalty and majesty.”
The document addressed the EDL directly, saying: “To the EDL (English Drunkards League). O enemies of Allah! We have heard and seen you openly insulting the final Messenger of Allah… you should know that for every action there is a reaction.
“Today is a day of retaliation (especially) for your blasphemy of Allah and his Messenger Muhammad. We love death more than you love life. The penalty for blasphemy of Allah and his Messenger Muhammad is death.
“What we did today was a direct retaliation of your insulting of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and also in retaliation of your crusade against Islam/Muslims on a global scale. It is of the greatest honour for us to do what we did.”
CDs of speeches by hate preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by an American drone in 2011, were also found.
Police and security services had Uddin under low-level surveillance in relation to another terrorist plot.
He was flagged up after his minor involvement with another group of terrorist plotters.
He was a bucket-shaker taking charity collections for the extremists, who planned to detonate up to eight rucksack bombs and possibly other devices on timers.
Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, all from Birmingham, were convicted in February of planning the attack, which could have been bigger than the July 7 atrocities.
Four other men, including Anzal Hussain’s brother Ishaaq, travelled to Pakistan for terror training as part of the plot, but were sent home when family members intervened.
Five days before the planned EDL rally attack, Uddin was seen with Khan going into a shop but officers did not follow them in to Home Choice in Sparkhill because contact would have been too close.
In fact they were going to buy the kitchen knives which were among the weapons that the gang planned to use.
All six extremists played five-a-side football together and went to the same gym at the Darul Ihsan Islamic centre, known as the Baker Street gym, where Saud and Hussain worked.
Police said they deliberately did not take their mobile phones with them on the day of the attack to try to avoid detection.
They had searched the internet for details of how much information detectives can glean from mobile phone data.
Marcus Beale, assistant chief constable with West Midlands Police and responsible for its Counter Terrorism Unit, said the six were extremely dangerous and could have maimed, killed and brought misery which would “have transmitted fear and anxieties to our communities”.
He said: “I am really pleased these six have pleaded guilty.
“They are clearly a radicalised group with extremely dangerous intent. Their intent was to recklessly cause mayhem and probably mass injuries.”
Mr Beale said of the terrorists: “They have chosen to attack the EDL but their overall intent was much more in line with (the) jihadist threat.”
He said Birmingham authorities and politicians were pulling together with Muslim communities to prevent youngsters turning to extremism.
“I am really optimistic about the future,” he said.
“We have strong political leadership and a commitment from the communities to work forwards to take the sting out of the terror threat.”
Mr Beale responded to claims the police could have swooped on Uddin earlier, saying officers dealt with him according to the evidence and “proportionately”.
“We didn’t fail to join the dots,” he said.
“We were doing what was right and proportionate at the time.”
The officer stressed investigators were acting within the boundaries of the law.
He added that the force had interrupted one attack each year since the 7/7 attacks on London, but stressed terror attack plans had “massively increased”.
Today, Hasseen also pleaded guilty to possessing a document or record containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism on July 3.
Published on 30/04/2013 11:10
A SERIES of coincidences saw the plan by Islamic fanatics to use bombs, guns and swords in a murderous attack on far-right extremists in West Yorkshire foiled.
Jewel Uddin, Omar Mohammed Khan, Mohammed Hasseen, Anzal Hussain, Mohammed Saud and Zohaib Ahmed all pleaded guilty today to preparing an act of terrorism last year.
A number of chance occurrences saw their plan to cause mass injuries and death at an English Defence League (EDL) rally in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, fall apart.
Firstly, the five members of the gang who drove to the event on June 30 last year – all the men except Hasseen – made a mistake with their timing, arriving two hours late because the rally had finished earlier than expected.
The event was shorter than planned because EDL leader Tommy Robinson, a crowd pleaser, was not able to attend.
Then, as Khan and Uddin drove their silver Renault Laguna back towards Birmingham down the M1, it was recorded as uninsured when a traffic officer happened to carry out checks because the car looked old.
In fact the gang had tried to insure the Renault for one day that morning, but Saud had mistakenly entered the wrong registration number on an online form.
The car was seized because it had no insurance, and the officer took Uddin and Khan to a nearby train station so that they could get home.
It was taken to a pound near Sheffield by Woodhead Motors, and left there until the following Monday morning.
Staff then checked the contents of the car and found the gang’s array of weapons including two shotguns, swords, knives, a nail bomb and a partially assembled pipe bomb, along with a hate-filled note ranting about the enemies of Islam.
It was only then that counter-terrorism units were called in, despite the fact that police and security services already had Uddin under low-level surveillance because he was on the periphery of another terrorist plot.
This was the plan by another group of extremists from Birmingham to set off up to eight rucksack bombs and possibly other devices in an attack that they wanted to be bigger than July 7.
Uddin had been seen with Khan going into a shop five days before the rally, but no officer followed them into Home Choice in Sparkhill because contact would have been too close.
In fact they were going to buy the kitchen knives that were among the weapons that the gang planned to use.
Neither counter-terrorist police or the security services had any intelligence to suggest that the men planned to stage an atrocity.
After their weapons were found, bomb squad were called to make the shrapnel-filled rocket safe, and said afterwards that it was “viable”, with the potential to cause serious injury or death.
Counter-terrorism teams launched a fast-moving operation, tracing Khan, who had initially given a false name, and his passenger by scouring CCTV.
Khan had the gall to call the pound to say that he needed to get something from the car, but unbeknown to him he was already under surveillance.
Police believe that he made the nail bomb because his fingerprint was discovered on the sticky side of tape found on the device.
West Midlands Police counter-terrorism unit also discovered that the Laguna was travelling with a gold Rover 25, and again used CCTV pictures to trace the three occupants.
Officers sifted through details of how the car was bought and who had insured it, as well as circulating pictures around local police teams to see if anyone recognised the suspects.
Khan, Hasseen and Uddin were arrested on July 3, they gave no-comment interviews and were charged on July 9.
Ahmed, Hussain and Saud were arrested after being stopped in a taxi on July 4, they also gave no comment interviews and were charged on July 10.
It is not known what they had with them in the Rover when they travelled to Yorkshire.