· The conspiracy involved nine Muslim defendants
· They were all British, living in London, Cardiff and Stoke-on-Trent
· Plot was stopped by undercover anti-terror police
Four radical home-grown Islamists have admitted an al Qaeda-inspired plot to detonate a bomb at the London Stock Exchange.
The Muslim fundamentalists’ group wanted to send five mail bombs to various targets during the run up to Christmas 2010, discussed launching a ‘Mumbai-style’ atrocity and even set off a small explosion at a meeting in Cardiff.
A hand-written target list found at one of the defendant’s homes listed the names and addresses of London Mayor Boris Johnson, two rabbis, the American Embassy and the Stock Exchange.
The total of nine men admitted various terror crimes at Woolwich Crown Court and will be sentenced next week.
‘Lynchpin’ Mohammed Chowdhury, 21, and his London accomplice Shah Rahman, 28, were followed by undercover detectives on November 28, 2010, observing Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and the Palace of Westminster.
The conspiracy involved nine defendants – the London duo, three from Cardiff and four from Stoke – but was stopped by undercover anti-terror police before firm dates could be set for attacks.
Though no firm dates were set and no homemade bombs created, the defendants had the wherewithal to do it, it was alleged.
They possessed the al Qaeda magazine Inspire, which contained a feature: ‘Make A Bomb In The Kitchen Of Your Mom.’
The threats were not just facing London.
The Stoke quartet talked about leaving homemade bombs in the toilets of their city’s pubs and discussed travelling abroad for terror training.
Chowdhury and Rahman had Bangladeshi backgrounds like their Welsh accomplices, whereas the Stoke terrorists had Pakistani backgrounds.
They also discussed how to make a pipe bomb.
It is also reported that Miah and Desai triggered a small explosive device at a meeting in Wales.
Their agenda is said to have included launching a Mumbai-style attack that would mimic the 2008 atrocity in India that saw Muslim extremists arrive at the port by boat and slaughter 166 people.
The massacre was eventually stopped by Indian commandos, who killed all the attackers except Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, who was arrested and remains in custody.
The terrorists met because of their membership of various hardcore Islamic groups and stayed in touch over the internet, through mobile phones and at specially arranged meetings – held in parks in a bid to make surveillance difficult.
The nine, all British nationals, were due to stand trial at Woolwich Crown Court but changed their pleas at the 11th hour.
Chowdhury, of Stanliff House, Tower Hamlets and Shah Rahman, 28, of St Bernard’s Road, Newham, both London, admitted preparing for acts of terrorism by planning to plant an improvised explosive device (IED) in the toilets of the London Stock Exchange.
They admitted the crime after a Goodyear hearing was held to give them an indication of their maximum sentences.