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Last Year’s UK Bomb Plot We Hardly Heard About

From an article from last year in the UK’s Times:


Top, from left: Jawad Akbar, Omar Khyam and Shujah Mahmood. Bottom, from left: Salahuddin Amin, Anthony Garcia and Waheed Mahmood

British terror cell plotted to kill thousands of shoppers in Bluewater with a devastating fertiliser bomb

Nicola Woolcock

May 1, 2007

Five men who hoped to kill thousands of people with a vast fertiliser bomb were described by a judge yesterday as ruthless and devious misfits who had betrayed their country of birth.

Omar Khyam, the ringleader of the British terrorist cell, and his accomplices planned to use the 1,300lb (590kg) bomb on a target such as Bluewater shopping centre in Kent or the Ministry of Sound nightclub in London.

Jailing them all for life yesterday, Mr Justice Astill said that they were “cruel and ruthless misfits who should be removed from society for its own protection”.

The judge described Khyam, 25, as “ruthless, devious, artful and dangerous”. He gave warning that he and the others may never be released from prison. Khyam had spoken with “enthusiasm and pleasure of the slaughter of nonbelievers”, the judge said. “You took full advantage of the benefits free society had to offer. You exploited the freedoms you sought to destroy with such evil purpose. You betrayed the country that’s given you every advantage in life.”

Khyam will serve at least 20 years before being considered for parole, as will Waheed Mahmood, 35, and Anthony Garcia, 25, Khyam’s “personal assistant and close confidant”.

Jawad Akbar, 23, and Sala-huddin Amin, 32, will each serve at least 17½ years. All five were convicted of conspiracy to cause explosions. Both Khyam and Garcia were convicted of possessing fertiliser for the purposes of terrorism, for which they were given eight-year concurrent jail terms.”…

The conspiracy that led to a jury deliberating for 27 days, the longest in British criminal trial history, had started in November 2003, with the purchase of the ammonium nitrate fertiliser that was central to the plot. The amount would have been capable of bringing down a large building

Months earlier, Garcia had been among a group that learnt about weapons and explosives in Pakistan. Two accomplices learnt how to prepare ricin. Garcia had taught the others how to dismantle and reassemble weapons. Under the leadership of Khyam they wanted to put their training into practice…

By now their conversations were being recorded by MI5. Operation Crevice involved every officer in the south of England and uncovered dozens of suspects across three continents…

The fertiliser was switched by police for cat litter and five weeks passed before the gang were arrested. During this time they seemed “surveillance sensitive” – executing U-turns on the way to meetings, using multiple names and codewords, disposing of laptop computers and changing mobile phones…

One suspect was recorded asking whether something was “ready to go”.

On March 30, 2004, officers from five forces arrested the seven defendants, who were charged with conspiring to cause an explosion likely to endanger life…

A week after their arrests, Mohammed Babar, an American al-Qaeda operative who trained with Khyam in Pakistan, was arrested in New York. He “crumbled”, pleaded guilty to terrorist offences and agreed to give evidence in return for immunity from prosecution for the fertiliser plot.

The intelligence service compiled a huge list of friends, relatives and contacts, many with multiple identities. Accomplices included “AD”, who was sectioned under the Mental Health Act but escaped from hospital. He was asked to carry out a suicide attack on the Tube but refused.

Two men from Luton – one who can be identified only as Q and the other who uses the name Abu Munthir – played pivotal roles in recruiting the Khyam cell. Both reported to al-Qaeda figures in Pakistan, including Abdul Hadi, who is being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Some of the defendants and associates worked at Gatwick and discussed its levels of security, leading surveillance officers to fear that the airport could be attacked.

And from an earlier article in the UK’s Telegraph:

Gang ‘plotted to blow up Ministry of Sound’

By Duncan Gardham

An alleged al-Qa’eda terrorist cell discussed blowing up the Ministry of Sound nightclub to take revenge on “those slags dancing around”, a jury heard yesterday

Akbar, then 20 and studying at Brunel University, suggested targeting bars and added: “The biggest nightclub in central London where no one can even turn around and say ‘oh they were innocent’, those slags dancing around and other things.”

Apparently referring to the September 11 2001 attacks on America, he added: “Trust me, then you will get the public talking ’cause they targeted economics, yeah, but if you went for the social structure where every Tom, Dick and Harry goes on a Saturday night, yeah, that would be crazy, crazy thing.” …

Akbar said: “Our purpose is to defend the honour of the Muslim, yeah, and bring the Islamic state back because if the Islamic state were here then the problems would not be there.”

The two men, both from Crawley, West Sussex, were discussing leaving their wives and families behind and whether Akbar was ready to join Khyam fighting Jihad in Pakistan.

Khyam said he believed Britain was a kufr [heathen] country and added: “You see things different, but me, it’s just nothing, they just need to be killed and blood spilled. To me this is clear.

”The verse says lay in ambush for them, besiege them and kill them when you find them, to me that’s just clear, kill them.”

Quoting the Koran, Akbar said: “The best thing you can do is put terror in their hearts, there is no doubt, there is nothing better than that. We put fear in their hearts.”

The pair also talked of other targets, including water, electricity and telecommunications but Khyam said it would have to be a “such a big explosion that hundreds of people died”.

The Ministry of Sound was founded by James Palumbo, the son of Lord Palumbo in south London in 1991.

It was described as Britain’s “most profitable club” with three bars and a VIP area, a capacity of 2,200, and a mixture of white, black, and Asian clubbers, including many tourists…

Funny how little we heard about this then. And how little we are hearing about it now, despite the similarities to the news of the day.

And, yes, these holy men were offended by women dancing.

You see, they are so religious.

By the way, all of these heroes were British born.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, July 4th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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