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Campaign to get public involved in tackling terrorism

West Midlands Police is launching a security workshop to help local businesses join them in the fight against terrorism.

Businesses will be told how to become more aware of terrorism threats Credit: PA

A range of activities to raise awareness of the threat from violent extremism will focus on five key areas: crowded places, transport hubs, preventing violent extremism, terrorist financing, and the tools that terrorists need to operate.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, from West Midlands Police, will tell an audience of business representatives in Birmingham this morning that the recent increase in the terrorism threat level demonstrates the need for everyone to work together to tackle terrorism.

Experience from around the world shows us that terrorists will target busy, crowded places to ensure that attacks have a maximum impact.

Businesses, particularly those in town and city centres, have an invaluable role to play in preventing potential attacks. Staff working in shops and entertainment centres are often the first people to spot signs that something is wrong.

We need everyone to be vigilant to things that are out of place or look suspicious, and then feel confident to come forward and report it to the police.

We are encouraging businesses to check that their security measures are effective and train their staff to detect potential threats and, if the worst should happen, respond to an attack.

– Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, West Midlands Police

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EDL terror plot: Islamic extremists due to be sentenced

Six men from Birmingham are due to be sentenced for preparing to carry out an attack on a rally of the right wing group the English Defence League.

The men pleaded guilty to plotting an attack on an English Defence League rally Credit: PA

The men only failed in their deadly plan because the gathering in Dewsbury in West Yorkshire finished earlier than expected.

Jewel Uddin, 27, Omar Mohammed Khan, 31, Mohammed Hasseen, 24, Anzal Hussain, 25, Mohammed Saud, 23, and Zohaib Ahmed, 22, all from Birmingham, are all due to appear at the Old Bailey.

Their sentencing comes amid fresh publicity surrounding the EDL in the wake of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby, and increased tensions between various political and religious factions.

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Terror trial: police thanks community for support

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.

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.

– Marcus Beale, Assistant Chief Constable for West Midlands Police
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Terror plot 'gang' sentenced

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.

Terrorists posed as charity collectors to fund plot

Rahin Ahmed, 26, from Moseley

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".

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