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7/7 suicide bomb plot couple jailed for life

2015-12-30 17:43:12

Sana Ahmed Khan and Mohammed Rehman© Provided by The Telegraph 7/7 suicide bomb plot couple jailed for life

A married couple who planned an Islamic State suicide bombing for the 10th anniversary of the the 7/7 atrocities have been jailed for life today.

Mohammed Rehman, 25, used his bedroom as a bomb factory filled with deadly chemicals and explosives recipes, and took to Twitter for help picking his targets.

He was handed a minimum of 27 years behind bars.

Rehman's wife Sana Ahmed Khan, 24, funded his Jihadi dream, using payday loans to buy 11kg of fertiliser to make into bombs.

She will serve a minimum of 25 years.

The couple, who wed in secret in a traditional Islamic ceremony, immersed themselves in Islamic State and Al Qaeda propaganda and idolised 7/7 bomber Shehzad Tanweer.

Rehman, using the Twitter nickname Silent Bomber and a profile picture of Jihadi John, called Tanweer his "beloved predecessor" and boasted online: "I make explosives for a living."

As their plans for terrorism gathered pace, Rehman asked his Twitter followers for help selecting a target: "Westfield shopping centre or London Underground? Any advice would be greatly appreciated."

The couple even test fired one of their bombs in Rehman's back garden, and experts believe they were only a detonator short of making the deadly plot a reality. 

After his arrest, Rehman claimed he was only pretending to be a "Jihadi warrior" and the couple turned on each other during a trial at the Old Bailey, accusing each other of being the real Islamic extremist.

But a jury who returned after the Christmas break on Tuesday and unanimously found both Rehman and Khan guilty on all charges after three days of deliberations.

Wearing a purple jumper, shirt and gold tie, Rehman and his wife Sana stared straight ahead showing no emotion as the jury of five men and seven women returned their guilty verdict on all counts.

Members of Rehman's family described him as a 'lowlife idiot' drug addict who rarely washed and spent most of his time in his bedroom drinking and playing video games.

Khan was warned by her mother she would be disowned if she married Rehman as he was notorious in the Muslim community in Reading for his extremist views.

But the couple married in 2013 at the Reading Islamic Centre, keeping their union secret from their friends and relatives.

Rehman had written out a pledge of allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, and had a Jihadi John style hunting knife in his bedroom as well as explosives and bomb-making manuals on his phone and computer.

The suspicions of security services were aroused in May this year when Rehman began spewing out ISIS supporting rants against the West on Twitter.

In one tweet, Rehman referred to the tenth anniversary of the 7/7 attacks and told a follower: "Are you actually trying? Why don't you head to the London Underground on the 7th of July if YOU got the balls."

In other tweets, he boldly stated "I'm preparing for an Istishaadi [martyrdom] operation' and bragged: "Now I just make explosives in preparations for kuffar lol & when I've made the required amount I'll be wearing them on my chest."

Prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said: "They shared a common interest - violent and extreme Islamic ideology and its methods of impacting upon the Western world."

"They were not attention seeking boasts as the plethora of chemicals seized at the home of Mohammed Rehman demonstrate.

"Those chemicals were capable of being mixed into lethal bombs - ready to go, following one of the many recipes collated in his notebook and stored on his computer.'

An undercover officer calling himself Abu Mohammed posed as a fellow extremist to lure Rehman into sharing his plans.

The officer said Rehman's boast that he was 'locked and loaded' raised concerns, and when he made contact Rehman told him: "The only most effective attack would be a martyrdom op."

When police swooped on Rehman's family home, in Reading, just over a month before the tenth anniversary of 7/7, they uncovered a bomb factory in his bedroom.

He had 10kgs of Urea Nitrate explosives, Tornado nitro fuel, instruction videos for making bombs, and a "Royal Flush" of pro-ISIS propaganda videos.

Evidence showed Khan, who has a degree in English from the University of Greenwich, in southeast London, had been funding the bomb factory with her wages and by taking out payday loans.

Mr Badenoch said their secret marriage showed the couple to be "deceitful" and adept at leading a "double life".

"He had no money and no prospects, she had money and the prospects but she was content to go without them for him," he said.

"They had a deep love between them and wanting of a sense of purpose.

"They wanted, this needy couple, to have a sense of purpose and they found one as you have seen.

"Given their fragile but purposeful and strong-minded character, given everything they have done, they were cast from religion, living in secrecy, isolated, and disaffected here in the West.

"It isn't such a surprise they were such fertile ground for violent Islamic extremism."

After his arrest, Rehman laughed about his terrorist intentions, but claimed it was all part of a plan to commit the "perfect crime".

He told officers officers he was about to be kicked out of the family home and thought terrorism was the "easiest way to get into prison" to get a roof over his head.

During their trial, neither of the couple gave evidence, but through their barristers accused each other of being the committed Islamic extremist.

Rehman, from Reading, and Sana Ahmed Khan, from Earley, Wokingham, denied preparation for terrorist acts.

Rehman denied a second charge of possession of articles for terrorist purposes.

Source: msn.com

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