Men jailed for terror plot targeting Westfield shopping centre and Heathrow
Three men have been jailed today for planning a terror attack on high-profile targets including Westfield shopping centre and Heathrow airport. A fourth man was jailed earlier this month for having a prohibited weapon.
The three Daesh-inspired men were convicted on 2 March following a trial at the Old Bailey. The court heard one of the group, Umar Haque, wanted to drive a vehicle into pedestrians at various busy locations including Parliament Square, foreign embassies and banks in the City of London. Today, he was given a life sentence and ordered to serve at least 25 years in prison.
Haque, 25, intended to use a knife and gun in the attack, which was inspired by the Westminster Bridge attack in March 2017.
He received support from two other men who were also convicted for their roles in the plans on 2 March.
Abuthaher Mamun, 19, agreed to raise funds for Haque’s plan by investing more than £900 in online trading companies. Their intention was to use the funds to buy a vehicle and pay for motor insurance. He was given a 12 year prison sentence and one year on extended licence.
Muhammad Abid, 27, knew of Haque’s plans but chose not to inform the authorities. During one conversation, which was monitored by the police, they discussed the London Bridge attack and glorified the actions of the driver. They also spoke approvingly of his methods and their shared aspiration to conduct a similar mass murder attack in the UK. Both men discussed targets in London and Abid said he would assist Haque with the planning. Abid was given a prison sentence of four years and three months.
The fourth man Nadeem Patel, 26, was found to have an illegal Walther P99 handgun at his home in Forest Gate. It was capable of firing cartridges containing tear gas or pepper spray but not solid bullets. He was given a 16 month sentence on 2 March.
Patel was not prosecuted for any terror related offences.
Haque worked as a teacher at a mosque in Barking and sought to radicalise boys aged between 12 and 14 during their weekly lessons. He told them he was in contact with Daesh and showed them extremely violent videos.
He said the boys should join Daesh because one day the terror group would rule Europe. Haque role-played mock attacks where the boys would pretend to be the police and attackers.
Staff at the mosque were not aware of his activities.
Sue Hemming from the CPS said: “The prosecution was able to show that by early 2017, Umar Haque had determined to carry out a terror attack in this country. He also used his position of trust to try and convert vulnerable children to his extremist cause and groom them to be involved in future activity. Six of them bravely gave evidence in this case.
“Haque’s ultimate aim was to kill as many innocent people as possible, regardless of their religion, in order to advance the extremist ideology of Daesh. Thankfully he failed and along with the others he must now face the consequences of his actions.”
Notes to editors
- Umar Haque (dob 04/06/1992) was found guilty of:
- Preparation of terrorist acts, contrary to section 5(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006. For researching and planning terror attack in the UK.
- Preparation of terrorist acts, contrary to section 5(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2006. In relation to the role play exercises with children at the mosque.
- Umar Haque pleaded guilty to:
- Dissemination of terrorist publications, contrary to section 2(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006. In relation to videos shown to children at the mosque.
- Four counts of collection of information, contrary to section 58(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2000. In relation to four separate publications likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.
- Abuthaher Mamun (dob 25/09/1998) was found guilty of:
- Preparation of acts of terrorism, contrary to section 5(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006. For assisting Umar Haque in planning a UK terror attack and trading in options to finance an attack.
- Muhammad Abid (dob 16/08/1990) was found guilty of:
- Failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism, contrary to section 38B(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2000. In relation to not reporting Umar Haque to the police.
- Nadeem Patel pleaded guilty to:
- Possession of a prohibited weapon, contrary to section 5(1)(b) of the Firearms Act 1968. For possessing a prohibited weapon, namely a Walther P99 handgun.
- Sue Hemming is Head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division in the CPS.