Eleven Birmingham men behind a terror cell intent on causing 'mass murder,' have today been sentenced for their part in the plot.
The ringleader was today given five life sentences. His plan was to build bombs and orchestrate a wave of suicide attacks in the UK – although no specific targets had been agreed.
The Assistant Chief Constable of West Midlands Police has released a statement following the sentencing of 11 terrorists from Birmingham.
Marcus Beale said the excellent work by West Midlands Police and Security Services led to the plot being interrupted.
Eleven men involved in a Birmingham-based terror plot involving a series of suicide bomb attacks, have been jailed.
The ringleader of the group, Irfan Naseer, has been given a life sentence with a minimum term of 18 years.
Today's sentencing of terror suspects from Birmingham brings to an end two years of work for officers from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit.
Known as Operation Pitsford, the case was one of the largest counter terrorism investigations since 2006 when terrorists planned to blow-up transatlantic flights.
– Marcus Beale, Assistant Chief Constable for West Midlands Police
The substantial sentences, particularly for the three most serious offenders, reflect the threat these men posed to public safety. Their aim was clear – to cause death and mass casualties.
Today is the culmination of two years work for the police, Security Service and the CPS. As a result, these men are behind bars and no longer a risk.
The local community has condemned the actions of these men and I am grateful for their support. We will continue to work with them and our partners to challenge the minority who promote destructive and dangerous views.
Mr Justice Henriques has praised the covert work carried out by West Midlands Police, which has led to the sentencing of 11 men planning a terror plot.
– Mr Justice Henriques, judge
The standard of police work has been exemplary – particularly the officers responsible for the covert recordings.
A total of eleven men from Birmingham have been sentenced over a terror plot which could have been more devastating than the July 7 attacks:
- Irfan Naseer handed a life sentence and must serve at least 18 years before he can be considered for parole.
- Irfan Khalid, sentenced to 18 years, to serve a min of 12 years.
- Ashik Ali, receives 15 year sentence, to serve min of 10 years.
- Rahin Ahmed received 12 year sentence to serve min of six.
- Bahader Ali is sentenced to six years imprisonment, to serve a minimum of three years.
- Mohammed Rizwan, receives four years, to serve min of two.
- Mujahid Husssain receives four years imprisonment, to serve a minimum of two.
- Shahid Khan, Khobaib Hussain, Ishaaq Hussain and Naweed Ali receive 40 months, to serve minimum of 20 months.
The Birmingham terror group tried to fund their plot by posing as Muslim Aid charity street collectors, duping legitimate supporters into giving them money.
They raised £12,000 for themselves in donations, but were forced to apply for loans after losing more than £9,000 of the money playing foreign currency markets.
'Chief financier' Rahin Ahmed, 26, from Moseley, pleaded guilty to collecting, investing and managing money for terrorism, and assisting others to travel to Pakistan for terrorism training.
Today he was given an extended sentence of 17 years and will serve six years before he can be released on licence.
Mr Justice Henriques said he accepted that Ahmed was not aware of the details of the plot, but added that he had raised "money for a terrorist purpose knowing that acts of terrorism were being prepared".
Three men were sentenced today, after being found guilty of a terror plot to detonate up to eight suicide bombs in the UK.
Irfan Naseer was handed a life sentence and must serve at least 18 years before he can be considered for parole when he appeared at Woolwich Crown Court.
Together with Naseer, the cell was led by his "inseparable" friend Irfan Khalid, 28, and Ashik Ali, also 28. Khalid boasted that the attack was "another 9/11".
Sentencing him to an extended term of 23 years in prison and to serve 12 years before he can be released on licence, Mr Justice Henriques said he took into account that he had been found to be in the bottom 2%-5% in terms of cognitive ability.
Partially-sighted Ali, wearing a white robe, was handed an extended sentence of 20 years in prison and will serve a minimum of 10 years before he can be considered for parole.
The judge said he did not accept the defendant's portrayal of himself as the group's "tea boy or runner for others".
Naseer was found guilty of five counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, Khalid of four, and Ali of three, all between Christmas Day 2010 and September 19 2011.
Mr Justice Henriques has described Irfan Naseer as a 'skillful bomb-maker' and says 'clearly nothing was going to stop you, short of intervention of the authorities.'
– Mr Justice Henriques, judge
I have no doubt you would have continued with your plan but for that intervention.
Many deaths were planned by a determined team of individuals who were fully radicalised and you, Naseer, were their leader.
No lack of assets, skill or manpower was going to stop you.
A total of eleven men from Birmingham are being sentenced today over a terror plot which could have been more devastating than the July 7 attacks.
Irfan Naseer, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali were found guilty of a total of twelve terrorism charges last month.
Four other men were convicted of terrorism offences.
A further four men pleaded guilty after travelling to Pakistan for terrorism training.