Radio Sandwell Local News

Birmingham men guilty of mass bomb plot

2013-02-21 14:21:22

Three men who hoped to become suicide bombers and launch a massive campaign of violence across the UK have been found guilty of terrorism charges.

Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, from Birmingham, were found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court of being "central figures" in the plot.

Jurors were told they planned to set off up to eight bombs in rucksacks and possibly detonate bombs on timers.

Police arrested the men in 2011 amid fears their plans were accelerating.

They believe it was the most significant terror plot to be uncovered since the 2006 conspiracy to blow up transatlantic airliners using bombs disguised as soft drinks.

Khalid even boasted that the attack was "another 9/11" as "revenge for everything".

Charity workers

The three men were found guilty of 12 counts of preparing for acts of terrorism between December 2010 and their arrest in September the following year.

The jury heard that Naseer and Khalid had received training from al-Qaeda contacts in Pakistan - and had recorded martyrdom videos there before returning to the UK.

Having recruited others, the group posed as legitimate charity workers on the streets of Birmingham and collected thousands of pounds from unsuspecting members of the public.

Naseer played a key role in sending four other Birmingham men to Pakistan to receive training. All of these have already pleaded guilty to preparing for acts of terrorism: Ishaaq Hussain, 21, Shahid Khan, 21, Naweed Ali, 25, and Khobaib Hussain, 22.

Two other Birmingham men who were part of Naseer and Khalid's plans, Rahin Ahmed, 27, and Mujahid Hussain, 21, have also pleaded guilty to terrorism charges. 


BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani said the convictions represented a major success for counter-terrorism officers in the West Midlands who, along with MI5, ran one of the largest undercover operations in recent years to identity the plotters and stop them. Nine men in all have been convicted as a result of the investigation.

The jury heard that the security services had the men under such close surveillance that they recorded them laughing and joking about their plans and how they did not need to worry about their car's MOT, because they would be dead by the time it expired.

The men were arrested after recorded conversations revealed Naseer's depth of knowledge about bomb-making and the three discussed time frames for attacking targets.

They had discussed targets while under surveillance but had not settled on a final plan. During his police interview, Ali told detectives that they wanted to wear explosive vests and had considered attacking British soldiers.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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