EDL rally terror plot

The latest on the trial of six Islamist extremists from Birmingham who pleaded guilty to plotting a deadly attack on an English Defence League rally.

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Police defend handling of EDL rally terror plot

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.

There has been some comment that we were surveilling one of the individuals on the Thursday beforehand (before the attack was due to take place).

That individual we observed go into a hardware shop and buy kitchen knives, that you and I can go and buy freely at any time.

Quite where the crystal ball is that can say the purchase of those knives means that two days later they were going to attack the EDL - I don't know how we could possibly know that.

– Marcus Beale, West Midlands assistant chief constable

West Midlands terrorists 'would almost certainly have killed people'

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.

These six were extremely dangerous men who planned a despicable attack on the English Defence League (EDL) up in Dewsbury.

The methods they were using with their improvised explosive bomb, the firearms, the knives, would have almost certainly killed people - they'd have definitely maimed people.

It was a horrible attack and it would have had a profound effect on many of our communities.

They are evil people and they are rightly now in prison.

– Marcus Beale, West Midlands assistant chief constable


West Midlands Police: 'terrorism remains a strong possibility'

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.

Today’s sentences see the end of a complex investigation into a group who were actively planning an attack on the EDL.

Their plot failed and these men face a long time in prison. The counter terrorism network has successfully stopped many plots over recent years, but as recent tragic events show, there is no room for complacency.

Terrorist attacks remain a strong possibility. It is vital that members of the community remain vigilant and call us if they have concerns.

– Marcus Beale, Assistant Chief Constable


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EDL attack planned after 'calculated insults'

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:

The EDL stage rallies in what they perceive, rightly, to be areas with large Muslim populations. They are intimidating when they do so.

They are obviously and very deliberately insulting to any Muslims. One doesn't need a degree in theology to have spotted the fact that to a Muslim a personal insult to the Prophet Mohammed is a very serious matter.

They are intimidating, they are insulting and they are provocative.

Attack would have sparked 'spiral of violence'

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.

Men admit plot to kill EDL marchers

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.

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