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'Deeply radicalised' binman jailed for five years for terrorism offences

Aabid Ali was described as 'deeply radicalised' Credit: South Wales Police/PA

A "deeply radicalised" council binman has been jailed for five years for terrorism offences, after converting to Islam and telling his wife how he wanted to kill soldiers.

Aabid Ali, 49, from Wrexham, an apparent supporter of the so-called Islamic State (IS) group, had looked up security arrangements at Number 10, been found with maps of Parliament and spoke of using a car as a jihadi weapon, Manchester Crown Court heard.

He had also said that the murder of Lee Rigby, who was attacked and killed near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich in 2013, was justified.

Ali, who had visited Downing Street and said he hoped to meet the "war criminal" prime minister, also told his wife of his desire to bomb an RAF base and attack nightclubs.

When his wife, who worked at a military base, told police about her husband's extreme views it led to heightened security at the army barracks where she was employed, the court heard.

She told police her husband had become increasingly fixated with radical Islam and he had said he wanted to kill a soldier with a car and described him as "driven" in his attitudes.

Police searched his home on November 10 last year, seizing his mobile phone and tablet device, showing a substantial quantity of "mindset evidence".

Ali reportedly said the killing of Lee Rigby had been justified Credit: PA

Ali converted to Islam 20 years ago and changed his name from Darren Glennon.

He became increasingly fixated with extremist ideology in the last two years, "almost daily" watching videos of IS beheadings, stonings and bombings, as well as looking up how to make explosives, the court was told.

Ali pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two offences of having IS bomb-making manuals and a further count of encouraging terrorism, all committed last autumn.

At the time of his arrest, Ali denied ever trying to build a bomb.

Paul Smith, mitigating, said the defendant had never "crossed the line" into actually preparing an act of terrorism himself.

But jailing Ali, for five years and four months, the Honorary Recorder of Manchester, Judge David Stockdale, said the refuse collector had shown, "no remorse, no regret, no apology".

Ali's wife told police her husband had always felt the need to be "part of a brotherhood" and had in the past been a member of the BNP and a biker group.