Mohammed Rehman, 25, and Sana Ahmed Khan, 24, both from Reading have been found guilty of plotting to carry out a major terrorist attack at a Westfield shopping centre in London or within the London underground.
Police began monitoring Rehman after he sent out a tweet in May under the name ‘Silent Bomber’. The tweet asked followers to advise him on where he should carry out a terrorist attack.
“Westfield shopping centre or London underground? Any advice would be appreciated greatly”
Both Rehman and Khan had repeatedly accessed the martyrdom video of the 7/7 bomber Shehzad Tanweer for inspiration.
Both were convicted today, 29 December, at the Central Criminal Court of engaging in the preparation of terrorist acts contrary to Section 5(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006. Rehman was convicted of a further offence of possession of an article for terrorist purposes contrary to Section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
Rehman had learned how to make bombs and carried out ‘test’ explosions in his garden. He filmed a test explosion and then sent the video to his wife.
Whilst Rehman was responsible for creating the bomb, Ahmed Khan, who was a supporter of violent and extreme Islamic ideology, played an important role by funding and purchasing chemicals for him. From January 2014 she paid into his account over £14,000. which included borrowings from ‘pay day’ loan companies. Following the test explosion Khan continued to assist Rehman in the purchase of chemical explosives.
Under the name ‘Silent Bomber’ Rehman continued to send out disturbing tweets about his plans including links to videos of other explosions, one clearly set out his intentions.
“Plus I don’t need an army, all I need is my explosive vest and a beautiful area full of crowded twats like you LOL”
Susan Hemming, Head of Counter Terrorism Division, said:
“The intention to carry out some form of terrorism attack was clear from the threatening statements made in Rehman’s tweets. It was these tweets that led to his and his wife’s arrest.
“Investigations found that Rehman and Ahmed Khan had carried out huge amounts of research relating to terrorist attacks – repeatedly searching the Internet for videos relating to the London bombings. 10kg of Urea Nitrate were found at Rehman’s house, a highly explosive chemical, which if detonated would have caused multiple fatalities on the London Underground.
“The pair had been very close to carrying out an attack, all they required was to purchase the chemicals to make a detonator. There is little doubt that, had Rehman and Ahmed Khan not been stopped when they were, they would have attempted to carry out an act of terrorism in London.”
Engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts contrary to section 5(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006.
Possession of an article for terrorist purposes contrary to section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000