Extremists jailed for terrorism

White Muslim convert Richard Dart has been jailed for six years for plotting a terror attack in former military repatriation town Wootton Bassett. His accomplices were jailed for four years and six months and nine years and nine months.

Determination and intent of extremists 'was very clear'

When Richard Dart, Jahangir Alom and Imran Mahmood were making plans for two of them, Dart and Alom, to fly to Pakistan, they did not expect those travels to lead them to the dock at the Old Bailey and jail. But this case serves as another reminder that those who take steps to travel abroad for the purposes of preparing for terrorism can and will be prosecuted here in the UK.

Although the men did not identify any specific targets for an attack, their determination and intent were very clear. The training that Dart and Alom sought, and which Mahmood attempted to assist with, would have taught Dart and Alom the skills and techniques necessary to commit acts of terrorism both aboard and in the United Kingdom. Mahmood had already undertaken training and was already asking Dart for help in locating a book that would allow him to make home-made explosives.

– Mark Topping, Crown Prosecution Service

Terror plotters 'had silent conversations' on mobiles

Police discovered fragments of a "silent conversation" writing in a document on Dart's laptop and then deleting the text.

See more: Fragment of reconstructed 'silent conversation'

Surveillance image of Richard Dart and Imran Mahmood.
Surveillance image of Richard Dart and Imran Mahmood. Credit: Metropolitan Police

Counter-terrorism teams also believe that the pair used the same tactic walking down the street with a mobile phone.

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Fragment of reconstructed 'silent conversation'

Police discovered fragments of text on Dart's laptop that revealed that the pair had used the computer to have a "silent conversation" to avoid possible surveillance bugs.

They would open a Word document and take it in turns to type, before deleting the text and mistakenly assumed that none of it would be stored on the machine.

A fragment of the conversation police reconstructed on Dart's laptop.
A fragment of the conversation police reconstructed on Dart's laptop. Credit: Metropolitan Police

However forensic experts were able to plough through 2,000 pages of computer code to decipher fragments of what was said.

These included Mahmood making a reference to Wootton Bassett and then adding "if it comes down to it it's that or even just to deal with a few MI5 MI6 heads".

Dart case shows 'how terrorists live in our midst'

These are dangerous men. Mahmood had received terrorist training in Pakistan and suggested he had knowledge of how to make home made explosives while Dart and Alom made great efforts to travel to Pakistan and aspired to seek training from terrorist groups there.

They all were clearly aware of anti-surveillance techniques as shown by the use of silent conversations and expressed a desire to carry out terrorist attacks.

This was a complex investigation carried out jointly by the Counter Terrorism Command and the Security Service but mixture of dedicated, diligent traditional detective work combined with the latest technology and computer techniques brought these men to justice and made the public safer.

This case serves as a classic example of how terrorists live in our midst while preparing their acts and their determination to travel overseas to train before returning to the UK.

It also illustrates the balance we need to achieve between maintaining public safety while gathering sufficient evidence to secure a conviction while maintaining the confidence of all our communities.

– Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Osborne, Senior National Co-ordinator Counter Terrorism

Terror plot trio 'had not ruled out UK attack'

Mahmood and Dart were both given extended sentences and will serve two-thirds of their prison terms rather than half, and will spend five years on licence.

Dart refused to stand when he was sentenced, saying: "I don't wish to stand up, I believe ruling and judging is only for Allah."

The judge said that they were all "committed fundamentalists" who would have been prepared to kill.

He told Dart and Mahmood:

I'm satisfied to the required criminal standard that neither of you had ruled out an attack in the United Kingdom, and that you, Mahmood, were looking at arming yourself with a bomb.

British extremist jailed for nine years

Three British Islamic extremists including a white Muslim convert and a former police community support officer have been jailed for terrorism.

Richard Dart, Jahangir Alom and Imran Mahmood, were sentenced at the Old Bailey for engaging in conduct in preparation of acts of terrorism.

Richard Dart, who changed his name to Salahuddin al-Britani, Jahangir Alom and Imran Mahmood.
Richard Dart, who changed his name to Salahuddin al-Britani, Jahangir Alom and Imran Mahmood. Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

Dart was jailed for six years, Alom for four years and six months and Mahmood for nine years and nine months.

Mr Justice Simon told the trio they held "radical Islamist beliefs and have shown yourselves to be committed to acts of terrorism".

They admitted the offence between July 2010 and July last year at a previous hearing last month.

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Sentencing on terror plot trio expected tomorrow

Today the sentencing process, which could take until tomorrow, began at the Old Bailey.

Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw QC told the court:

"The method employed as the police, with the help of computer experts, would subsequently discover, involved Dart and Mahmood sitting together at a computer and opening a Word document on the computer to conduct what in effect was a silent conversation.

Richard Dart, who changed his name to Salahuddin al-Britani, Jahangir Alom and Imran Mahmood.
Richard Dart, who changed his name to Salahuddin al-Britani, Jahangir Alom and Imran Mahmood. Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA

"Having had that discussion by typing into the document, the document was then deleted by one or other of the defendants, without having been saved and as far as the defendants were concerned the document would therefore be destroyed forever.

"They plainly were under the misapprehension that the text once deleted could never be recovered."

Dorset-born Muslim convert filmed preaching in street

  • Police recovered fragments of text from Richard Dart's laptop which referred to Wootton Bassett
  • Dart changed his name to Salahuddin al-Britani and became involved in extremism after moving from his home town Weymouth in Dorset to east London
  • His beliefs were brought into the spotlight as part of a television documentary "My Brother the Islamist" made by his step brother Robb Leech
  • In the film he was seen preaching in the street, attending extremist lectures

Terror trio facing long jail terms over attack plan

Three men, including a white Muslim convert, are due to be sentenced after pleading guilty to plotting a terror attack in the former military repatriation town of Wootton Bassett.

Richard Dart
Richard Dart Credit: Met Police

Richard Dart and his co-conspirators Jahangir Alom and Imran Mahmood admitted to the plot last month. Dart and Alom travelled to Pakistan to try to get terrorist training, and took advice from Mahmood who had already visited the country.

Dart, a former BBC security guard, also discussed bomb making and potential targets with Mahmood, which included the town of Wootton Bassett.