What lunatic releases terrorists? Time for the death penalty to be reinstated. The Brits must have endless amount of tax funds to keep surveilance of Muslims they keep releasing for terrorist plots while millions more pose a threat to their country. It’s called insanity. The whole country appears to suffer from a complete lack of leadership and structure.
Three jihadi Musketeers hatched terror attack plots in prison cells: Terrorists planned to wreak carnage like the London Bridge atrocity
- Naweed Ali, 29, Khobaib Hussain, 25 and Mohibur Rahman, 33, in jail together
- They had all been locked up for terrorism offences when they hatched their plot
- Days away from carrying out a knife and bomb rampage when MIS stopped them
A terrorist gang who met in prison and called themselves the ‘Three Musketeers’ hatched a plot to bring carnage to the streets of Britain with a pipe bomb, meat cleaver and a Samurai sword.
Naweed Ali, 29, Khobaib Hussain, 25 and Mohibur Rahman, 33, had all been locked up for terrorism offences when they met and began plotting a London Bridge-style atrocity after their release.
But the trio from the West Midlands were caught with their weapons and an imitation handgun when MI5 set up a fake courier firm to employ them in an elaborate and controversial sting operation.
The Islamic fanatics, who joked that they were like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy in the Disney Musketeers movie, and used a cartoon image as their logo on encrypted messages on the Telegram app, were thought to be just days away from carrying out a knife and bomb rampage when undercover officers stopped them.
From left: ‘Three musketeers’ Naweed Ali, Mohibur Rahman and Khobaib Hussain
On Ali’s first day working for MI5’s fake courier firm, officers found a meat cleaver with Kafir – which means infidel – scratched on the blade
On Ali’s first day working for MI5’s fake courier firm, officers found in his car a JD Sports bag in the footwell containing a partially constructed pipe bomb, imitation handgun, 11 shotgun cartridges, a bullet and a meat cleaver with Kafir – which means infidel – scratched on the blade.
A fourth plotter, Tahir Aziz, 38, was subsequently arrested with a Samurai sword in his car. He had bought the weapon from a sex shop days after joining what was said to be an ‘imminent’ plot to target police or MI5.
After the terror cell was convicted yesterday of preparing acts of terrorism, it can now be revealed that they were fervent disciples of jailed hate preacher Anjem Choudary.
The so-called Musketeers even went to meet the extremist cleric while he was on bail awaiting trial for inviting support for Islamic State, as they were formulating their attack. Their extraordinary trial at the Old Bailey, part of which was kept secret for national security reasons, has raised questions about the growing menace of Islamist extremism inside British prisons.
Hussain and Ali had already been convicted of terrorist offences in July 2012 when they were jailed for 40 months for flying to Pakistan to join a terrorist training camp.
The jury was not told they had been recruited to go there by Irfan Naseer, who is now serving life for plotting a suicide bomb attack.
In the melting pot of extremists behind the bars of Belmarsh Prison in Thamesmead, south-east London, they met Rahman, who was on remand after being caught with copies of terrorist magazine Inspire by officers investigating a plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange and pubs in Stoke.
Police were unable to prove his involvement in the bomb plot and he was instead jailed for five years in 2012 for having the magazine. In Belmarsh he mixed with other hardened Islamist prisoners including Tanvir Hussain, a major figure in the trans-Atlantic airlines plot, Abid Naseer, who plotted to blow up the Trafford Centre in Manchester, and Minh Pham, a key propagandist for notorious Al Qaeda commander Anwar Al Awlaki.
When Rahman, Ali and Hussain were all released in 2015, they continued to associate with terrorists, including Humza Ali, recently jailed for trying to join IS, and Ishaaq Hussain, who was among those who attended a training camp in Pakistan.
Having learnt police techniques and surveillance methods from previous trials, the men used only encrypted social media apps to communicate. They met up in crowded places, including gathering on a pedalo in a boating lake so officers could not hear what they were saying.
MI5 responded by trying to recruit Rahman as an informant. He spent £200 they gave him on thowaway mobile phones to use in the plot.
When Rahman continued to plot with the others, MI5 set up a fake delivery firm named Hero Couriers to offer jobs to the unemployed men.
The firm rented premises in Birmingham city and hired Hussain for £100 a day, even issuing him with a t-shirt and high-visibility vest bearing the company logo as he was dispatched on jobs around the country, enabling officers to search the defendants’ cars to find the damning evidence on August 26 last year.
Part of the trial was held in secret for three days so the judge could hear ‘sensitive’ MI5 recruitment allegations by Rahman, who investigators believe was plotting to target MI5 itself.
The case shone an uncomfortable spotlight on the tactics of the Security Service after a series of embarrassing texts of the undercover officers involved were exposed.
The officers’ expletive-ridden messages, about the defendants putting on the ‘usual bollox we planted it all and fitted em up’, gave their lawyers an opportunity to claim the four had been the victim of a conspiracy.
But the jury learnt the truth halfway through the trial when re-tests ordered on the evidence using new technology revealed that Hussain’s DNA was on a roll of tape in the same bag as the bomb, which was thought to have been made using techniques that Hussain had learned on a plumbing course at South and City College in Birmingham.
Yesterday Rahman yelled, ‘Hope you’re happy with your lies and your deception,’ at the police and prosecutors after the verdicts were delivered.
Mr Justice Globe remanded all four in custody ahead of sentencing today.
Detective Chief Superintendent Matt Ward, head of the West Midlands counter-terrorism unit, said the operation was ‘one of the most ambitious investigations’ ever carried out.
‘We can be clear that if it had progressed, there would certainly have been a loss of life,’ he added. ‘We know from the items that we recovered from the vehicle, a pipe bomb, suggested they may have been looking to carry out a mass casualty attack.
‘Equally, they had a meat cleaver and imitation handgun, suggesting they may have been trying to target an individual member of either the police service or the armed services.’
He went on: ‘This is the second time three of these individuals have been convicted of terrorism offences after planning an attack.
‘Although much work is being done in prisons and following the release of individuals, it is clear that more needs to be done.
‘These are dangerous men who seem committed to carrying out an attack. The nature of this investigation demonstrates that the police, together with our partners, must stay one step ahead and that we must be ambitious in our tactics to be able to defeat the terrorist threat to our communities.’
WOMAN JUROR FELL FOR POLICEMAN…AND NEARLY HALTED TRIAL
A juror threatened to derail the multimillion-pound trial after falling for a good-looking counter-terrorism police officer involved in the case.
The judge, Mr Justice Globe, faced calls to abort the trial when the woman’s interest in Detective Sergeant Ryan Chambers was discovered days before the jury was sent out.
The officer was overheard joking about a young female juror fancying him by a Guardian reporter, but he failed to recognise the danger to the case.
The reporter’s inquiries sparked a court investigation, which revealed that one of the jurors had found Mr Chambers ‘very attractive’ and another juror asked if he was single on her behalf.
Defence barristers said the love-struck juror could find the defendants guilty just to please the officer.
After an urgent inquiry, with two court staff, prosecution and police, to find out what had been going on, Mr Justice Globe decided to dismiss a woman from the jury panel who had acted as an ill-conceived ‘matchmaker’ by making inquiries on behalf of the smitten juror.
The woman juror admitted the attraction, but said she had no intention of taking it any further, saying that another juror ‘jokingly asked for me against my wishes’.
On another occasion, Vincent messaged his temporary ‘cover officer’ saying: ‘As you know I am working tmw [tomorrow] … I think I am right in saying this will be the first time you have covered me since becoming a newly qualified cover … I feel I must warn you there are certain things I need to make you aware of …
‘I cannot under any circumstances be trusted with ANY of the following… Small children, guns, loose women, £50 notes, strippers, massage parlours, any night club in Prague or Liverpool, bald women (they really turn me on), any car that will exceed 17 mph, any 5-star hotel, any one of my 3 passports, Jacobs creek sparkling Shiraz, Dalmore cask strength whisky.
‘Other than these few minor faults I have accumulated (over years of undercover work).’
On February 24 last year, just before the trial was originally due to start, Vincent wrote: ‘It’s nothing we ain’t seen before … usual bollox we planted it all and fitted em up!!!!’
The officer’s expletive-ridden messages gave defence lawyers an opportunity to claim the four terrorists had been the victim of a conspiracy to frame them, which was compared to a plot out of US television spy drama Homeland.
They said a ‘scheming team’ of undercover officers had planted the evidence to impress their bosses. They accused another officer of perjury after he said those working on the investigation had not met during their evidence, even though they had driven to London together and shared a hotel.
It emerged during the case that Rahman had been approached twice by MI5 in 2010 and June 2015. He claimed MI5 had pestered him after his release and invited him to the VIP section of the Britannia Stadium, home of Premiership side Stoke City where he was paid £200 to become an informant.
He used the cash to buy two mobile phones to give to Hussain and Ali.
Lawyers for the defendants openly derided the Home Secretary’s insistence on secrecy, claiming it had left them ‘operating in a Twilight Zone’.
Det Chief Supt Matt Ward, head of West Midlands counter-terrorism unit, said: ‘I’m really proud of our officers – particularly our undercover operatives who were in an incredibly dangerous situation.’