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A top counter-terrorism officer has defended the police's handling of the terror plot by six people from the West Midlands to blow up an English Defence League rally.
West Midlands assistant chief constable Marcus Beale says he felt there had been some unfair criticism of the force over the perception of how much it knew about some of the plotters.
The six men from the West Midlands jailed for their part in a failed terror plot to attack the English Defence League would "almost certainly" have killed people if their plot had been successful, a top counter-terrorism officer says.
Six men are today starting lengthy prison sentences after planning an attack on an English Defence League demonstration with guns, knives, and an improvised explosive made from a firework.
Omar Khan, Jewel Uddin, Zohaib Ahmed, Mohammed Hasseen, Mohammed Saud and Anzal Hussain, all in their 20s and from the West Midlands area, pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism at a hearing in April 2013.
Six Islamist extremists who plotted an attack on an English Defence League rally in Yorkshire, have been jailed for terms ranging from 18 years and 9 months to 19 and a half years, as they were given extended sentences at the Old Bailey today.
Six men from the West Midlands previously admitted plotting to kill protesters at an EDL rally in Dewsbury.
A planned attack on an English Defence League rally was a reaction to the far-right groups' "calculated insults" of Islam, a court heard today.
Sentencing of six Islamic extremists who hatched the plot to target the gathering in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, last summer continued at the Old Bailey.
Joel Bennathan QC for Omar Khan said:
Islamic extremists from the West Midlands planned an attack on an English Defence League rally that would have sparked a "tit-for-tat spiral of violence and terror", a court has heard.
The plot to target the rally in Yorkshire only failed by chance, and the six men would have gone on to attack another rally had they not been stopped, the Old Bailey was told.
Jewel Uddin, Omar Mohammed Khan, Mohammed Hasseen, Anzal Hussain, Mohammed Saud, and Zohaib Ahmed, admitted planning the attack at a hearing on April 30.
Dozens of EDL members gathered in a pub near the court for the start of the two-day sentencing process.
Six men from the West Midlands have admitted plotting to kill marchers at a rally of the English Defence League.
Their plan didn't succeed because the men arrived late for the event in West Yorkshire.
After one of their cars was pulled over during a routine stop on the motorway, it was found to contain explosives, guns and knives.
Andy Bevan reports.
Community worker Sulaimaan Samuel has condemned the would-be terrorists who planned an attack on an EDL demonstration. He said Islam was a religion of peace and stressed that the Muslim community in Birmingham did not condone violence.
Latest ITV News reports
Six Islamist extremists have been sentenced to between 18 years and 9 months and 19 and a half years at the Old Bailey in London.
The sentencing of six men who planned a murderous attack on an English Defence League rally in West Yorkshire is due to continue.