´Couple built homemade bombs to attack UK Jews´ (JERUSALEM POST) By JONNY PAUL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT 06/22/12)
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Court hears that Muslim couple inspired by al-Qaida propaganda were
plotting an attack on Manchester Jewish community.
LONDON – A Muslim couple inspired by al-Qaida propaganda on the
Internet were in the early stages of plotting a terrorist attack on
the Jewish community of Manchester, UK, a court heard on Wednesday.
Manchester Crown Court heard that Muhammad Sajid Khan, 33, and his
wife, Shasta, 38, from Oldham in greater Manchester bought material
from supermarkets to assemble homemade explosive devices.
They were planning to attack Jewish targets in Prestwich, an area
with a large, mainly Orthodox, Jewish community. Manchester is home
to the second-largest Jewish community outside London with a
population of around 50,000.
Police only discovered the bomb-making materials after a domestic
disputed alerted officers to their house in July 2011. Khan had
attacked his wife’s father, and her family decided then to “spill the
beans” telling police that he was a “home grown terrorist.”
The couple were arrested and indicted under the Terrorism Act 2000 on
charges of planning and preparing a terror attack.
According to the prosecution, the couple had had become radicalized
by material on the Internet, including al-Qaida’s online magazine,
Inspire, where they also may have found details on how to build a
Khan has already pleaded guilty but his wife denies any involvement
and has pleaded not guilty.
Shasta Khan is charged with engaging in conduct in preparation for
acts of terrorism and three counts of possessing a record of
information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing
for an act of terrorism.
Behind their “apparent normality of daily life,” Kahn and his wife
planned to carry out “jihad at home,” prosecutor Bobbie Cheema told
the Manchester court.
“In 2010, after they were married, and in 2011, the two of them
became radicalized by material found on the Internet, such as an al-
Qaida magazine called Inspire, the aim of which is to encourage
Muslims in the West to carry out violent holy war, or jihad, by
mounting attacks in their own countries independent of any outside
direction or association with any other person,” Cheema, a London-
based attorney, said.
“In response the two began to make preparations to carry out a
terrorist attack on British soil, with the most likely target being
an Orthodox Jewish area of Prestwich in Greater Manchester,” she
While the targets are not yet known, it was alleged that the pair
carried out “multiple reconnaissance trips” to the Jewish areas of
While a motive for the alleged attack has not yet been revealed, the
prosecution said the couple “believed in and supported an extreme
ideology of violent holy war” in which “Jews are seen as particular
enemies for their presence in Palestine and support for their
existence there and, in part, by the United States and Britain for
The court heard Thursday that Police found a cache of terrorist
material at the couple’s house.
Beheading videos, propaganda glorifying Osama bin Laden and bomb-
making guides were seized along with the peroxide and bleach which
together with electrical equipment - including electrical wires,
Christmas tree lights, bulbs and a battery - were being readied to
make an improvised explosive device, the jury was told.
Seemingly innocuous and innocent items had a more sinister purpose,
it was suggested to the jury.
Ground-up fire lighters, safety goggles, a funnel, needles and
syringes were also part of the items police found which could be used
to make a home-made bomb, the court heard.
An article from the al-Qaida magazine found, entitled “Make a bomb in
the kitchen of your Mom”, offered a step-by-step guide, from how to
get ingredients without raising suspicion, to building a bomb using
According to the article, in one or two days a bomb could be made to
kill "at least 10 people" and with more time "tens of people." (©
1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 06/22/12)
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