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UK Jihadists Plotted Mass Slaughter At English Defence League Rally

April 30, 2013

Revealed: How plot to slaughter English Defence League supporters failed as radical Islamists' gang turned up late for rally

Aim was to spark sectarian war with attacks at extreme right-wing gathering

Paul Peachey

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A murderous plot by radical Islamists to launch a gun and bomb attack on hundreds of people attending an extreme right-wing rally failed to trigger a sectarian war because the gang turned up too late, it can be revealed today.

The plot was uncovered by luck after an online insurance form was filled out wrongly and resulted in their car and weapons being impounded during a random motorway police check as they returned home after the aborted operation.

Guns, machetes, swords and a home-made nail bomb were found in the car's boot two days after it was seized sparking a huge security operation that netted the six militants. Declarations of war were also found in the boot addressed to the "kaffir (non-believer) female and self-proclaimed Queen Elizabeth" and David Cameron.

The find was the first indication of any plan to attack the English Defence League (EDL) rally in Dewsbury even though one of the plotters had been under "low-level" surveillance operation by police and security services five days earlier.

Jewel Uddin, who was being watched because he had been spotted collecting cash on the street for another terrorist plot, had been seen by undercover police officers walking into a shop where he is believed to have bought a set of knives that were to be used in the attack. Uddin, 27, was among six people who pleaded guilty today to plotting the attack on the rally in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, on 30 June last year.

Bomb maker Omar Khan, 28; Zohaib Kamran Ahmed, 22; and Mohammed Saud, 22 - who are all unemployed - and gym workers Anzal Hussain, 31, and Mohammed Hasseen, 23, also admitted preparing for the terrorist attack.

It can be reported today that Hussain's brother was jailed last week after he travelled to Pakistan for training for a planned suicide bomb attack. He was part of another group of Birmingham-based jihadists caught before they sent eight rucksack bombers into crowds for an attack to rival the July 7, 2005, attacks on the London transport network.

Poor planning - and an early finish for the EDL rally - averted the Dewsbury attack using a nail-filled homemade firework bomb that experts fear could have led to a race war between Islamist radicals and the fragmented extreme right-wing movement.

The bomb was filled with more than 400 nails and ball-bearings and police believe the men could have intended to light the fuse and toss it into the crowd. It had the potential to maim or even kill.

It emerged that the potential bombers had used the internet to plot their attack and had carried out searches on the leader of the party, Tommy Robinson. Robinson did not attend the rally and his number two addressed the crowds. However, the crowds of up to 700 people, a counter-protest by the United Against Facism group and hundreds of police officers had all left by the time the bombers arrived in two cars.

The plotters were denied a second opportunity to attack after one of their cars was followed and pulled over by a South Yorkshire traffic policeman during a routine check on the M1 as they were driving home after a chip supper in the town.

One of the plotters had paid for cover but filled in the form incorrectly so it showed up as having no insurance. Khan was driving the ageing Renault Laguna that was stopped on the M1 with Uddin as his passenger. Police dropped them off at a nearby railway station to let them get home before they realised what they had netted.

The stash of weapons - including sawn-off shotguns, machetes, knives, samurai swords and elements for pipe bombs - along with extremists CDs and ten declarations of intent to attack the right-wing demonstrators were found only on the Monday.

The note - addressed to "enemies of Islam, the Queen and David Cameron" - detailed why the "English Drunkards League" was a target. "This is a message to the enemies of Allah and his messenger. This is a message to the kaffir (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," it said.

"We have heard and seen you openly insulting the final Messenger of Allah… We love death more than you love life. The penalty for blasphemy of Allan and his Messenger Muhammed is death."

A frantic police operation followed after the West Midlands counter-terrorism team was contacted at 6pm that day to try to trace the two men. They identified Uddin through CCTV and other cameras revealed that a second car had been travelling with them to Dewsbury for the day of the attack.

All six men were arrested by Wednesday evening - the five who travelled to Dewsbury and a sixth man who did not go to the town because he was attending a funeral. Khan called the compound 20 minutes before he was arrested - and while he was under surveillance - to say that he might have left something in the car.

Forensic evidence linked all six men to the items in the back of the car. None of them said anything during their police interviews. It emerged that members of the team had carried out a recce of the town 18 days before the rally was due to take place.

The EDL had advertised the rally as the time to "stand up and make your voices heard and take back the streets of Dewsbury…. make Dewsbury English again."

The plotters were said to have been inspired by the US-born preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a US drone attack in Yemen in 2010.

Copies of his firebrand speeches were found on the CDs inside the cars. Police discovered that they all played football together and went to the same gym in Birmingham that has been linked with other terror plots.

West Midlands Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said: "They are clearly a radicalised group that had an extremely dangerous intent.

"They travelled to Dewsbury with IEDs (improvised explosive devices) that would have certainly caused significant injuries and probably some deaths.

Mr Beale said they had reviewed the case and said there had been no individual or organisational failings by police or MI5.

Referring to the surveillance of Uddin, he said: "Based on the information we had, we wouldn't have done anything differently."

The six appeared by videolink from Woodhill prison to admit the terrorism charge.

The judge, Nicholas Hilliard QC, said the six could expect "significant" prison sentences. They are due to be sentenced in June.

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