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Reservists to get £40 million of new kit

Reservists will get £40 million of new kit and extra overseas training opportunities in the latest steps to increase the size of the part-time forces.

Members of the Territorial Army - to be renamed the Army Reserve under the shake-up - will be able to use high-tech equipment including helmet-mounted night vision and upgraded SA80 rifles.

A white paper on Wednesday will set out financial incentives for small firms employing reservists.

It will set out how the number of trained reservists will increase from 19,000 to 30,000 by 2018 in preparation for them taking on more operations alongside their Regular counterparts.

Anglia

Gang tried to make bomb from terror manual

The Luton terrorist group were trying to make an an improvised explosive device (IED) based on instructions in an al Qaida manual entitled "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom - by the al Qaida chef", the court was told.

Covert recordings of the pair heard Iqbal suggesting attaching the bomb to a remote controlled toy car and sending it under the gap of a gate to a Territorial Army (TA) centre in Luton.

The men were arrested following a series of raids at their homes in April last year after an intelligence-led joint operation by the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command and the British Security Service (BSS).

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CPS: Plotters were 'dangerous & committed terrorists'

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the four "dangerous and committed terrorists" will "no longer be a threat to the British public" as they begin their prison sentences.

Deputy head of Counter-Terrorism at the CPS, Deborah Walsh, said, “All four men have shown a deep commitment to engage in violent 'Jihad'".

The Territorial Army centre in Luton that the four men planned to target.
The Territorial Army centre in Luton that the four men planned to target. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"In April 2011, [Zahid] Iqbal and [Mohammed Sharfaraz] Ahmed discussed an attack on the Territorial Army base in Luton using explosives placed on a remote controlled car. Independent forensic evidence has confirmed the device was viable", she continued

Although the attack was prevented, Ms Walsh said the case "highlights the continued threat posed by UK-based terrorists and the complex web of international support that informs and encourages their dangerous and destructive plans".

"It is also a reminder that terrorist activity committed abroad can and will be prosecuted in UK courts”, she added.

Bomb plotters sentenced after admitting charges

Umar Arshad, 24, was jailed for six years and nine months and Syed Farhan Hussain, 22, for five years and three months for their roles in preparing for the terrorist attack at a Territorial Army centre.

Umar Arshad (left) and Syed Farhan Hussain.
Umar Arshad (left) and Syed Farhan Hussain. Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

The men, all from Luton, admitted one count of engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism between January 1 2011 and April 25 2012 at a hearing on March 1.

The men were arrested following a series of raids at their homes in April last year after an intelligence-led joint operation by the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command and the British Security Service (BSS).

Bomb plotters posed 'significant risk' to public

Zahid Iqbal, 31, and Mohammed Sharfaraz Ahmed, 25, were sentenced to 16 years and three months in prison today after admitting terror charges.

Zahid Iqbal (left) and Mohammed Sharfaraz Ahmed.
Zahid Iqbal (left) and Mohammed Sharfaraz Ahmed. Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

London's Woolwich Crown Court heard that the pair discussed sending a remote-controlled toy car carrying a home-made bomb under the gates of a Territorial Army centre in Luton.

Mr Justice Wilkie QC said they posed "a significant risk of serious harm to the public" as he imposed a custodial sentence of least 11 years and three months, with a five-year extension period subject to licence.

Four men sentenced over plotting UK terror attack

Four men have been sentenced to between five and 16 years in prison after they admitted terror charges.

Zahid Iqbal, 31, and Mohammed Sharfaraz Ahmed, 25, were each given sentences of 16 years and three months at Woolwich Crown Court for plotting an al Qaida-inspired terror attack on a Territorial Army centre in Luton.

Umar Arshad, 24, was jailed for six years and nine months and Syed Farhan Hussain, 22,for five years and three months for their roles in preparing for the attack.

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Plot to send 'toy car carrying bomb' under army gates

Terror plotters discussed sending a remote controlled toy car carrying a home made bomb under the gates of a Territorial Army centre in Luton, a court was told.

Zahid Iqbal, 31, and Mohammed Sharfaraz Ahmed, 25, spoke about making an improvised explosive device (IED) based upon instructions in an al Qaida manual entitled "make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom - by the al Qaida chef", Woolwich Crown Court was told.

The court was played covert recordings of the pair in which Iqbal tells Ahmed: "I was looking and drove past like the TA centre, Marsh Road. At the bottom of their gate there's quite a big gap. If you had a little toy car it drives underneath one of their vehicles or something."

Anglia

Luton terror group set for sentencing

Zahid Iqbal
Guilty of terror charges: Zahid Iqbal, 31 Credit: Metropolitan Police

Four Luton men could be sentenced today after admitting discussing carrying out a terror attack in the UK.

Zahid Iqbal, 31, Mohammed Sharfaraz Ahmed, 25, Umar Arshad, 24, and Syed Farhan Hussain, 21, considered methods, materials and targets for an attack.

Mohammed Sharfaraz Ahmed
Guilty of terror charges: Mohammed Sharfaraz Ahmed, 25 Credit: Metropolitan Police

The men were arrested following a series of raids in April last year. They pleaded guilty to one terrorism charge at Woolwich Crown Court.

The four men downloaded computer files containing practical instruction for an attack, and collected funds for terrorist purposes.

Umar Arshad
Guilty of terror charges: Umar Arshad, 24 Credit: Metropolitan Police

They also admitted facilitating, planning and encouraging travel overseas, as well as organising, encouraging and participating in physical training, contrary to section 5 of the Terrorist Act 2006.

The offences took place between January 2011 and April last year.

Umar Arshad
Guilty of terror charges: Syed Farhan Hussain, 21 Credit: Metropolitan Police

Territorial Army campaign could make people 'seriously consider serving'

As a former TA officer myself, I understand the dedication required but I also know how incredibly rewarding and exciting it can be. It is a career that could take you to new countries, will equip you with new skills and will give you an invaluable bond with new friends. We are building an integrated Future Force with a greater reliance on the Reserves and to do this we are investing an additional £1.8 billion over ten years to improve their training and equipment.

This campaign is another step towards this goal and I would encourage people watching at home or attending one of the regional events to seriously consider serving with the TA.

– Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Mark Francois
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