Terrorisme og ekstremisme

Skulle bombe jøder

Et ektepar sitter på tiltalebenken i Manchester for å ha planlagt å bombe jødisk boligkvarter i byen. Paret skal ha blitt radikalisert gjennom al-Qaidamaterial tilgjengelig på nettet. Ektemannen har erkjent forholdene, mens kona nekter.

Hege Storhaug, HRS

Ekteparet er britiske statsborgere i 30-årene, bosatt i Oldham, Paret skal ha foretatt rekognoseringer i Stor-Manchester i jødiske boligkvarter. Paret ble pågrepet ved en tilfeldighet på et forholdsvis tidlig tidspunkt i terrorforberedelsene.

A Muslim couple were assembling components of a home-made bomb to attack Jewish neighbourhoods after becoming radicalised by al Qaeda propaganda on the internet, a court heard.

Mohammed Sajid Khan, 33, and his wife Shasta, 38, bought substances and equipment from supermarkets to assemble an improvised explosive device to carry out a terrorist attack after scoping Jewish targets, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Behind their »apparent normality of daily life», Khan, an unemployed car valeter, and his hairdresser wife planned to carry out »jihad at home», Bobbie Cheema, prosecuting, told the court.

And the pair were only »mercifully» stopped by chance after a minor domestic row led to police being called to their house in Oldham, Greater Manchester.

Mrs Khan decided to »spill the beans» to police after her brother told officers called to the row »I think he’s a home-grown terrorist».

Mohammed Sajid Khan has already pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to terrorism offences but his wife has denied any involvement.

She has pleaded not guilty to engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism and three counts of possessing information useful for committing or preparing for an act of terrorism.

Opening the case for the prosecution at the start of Shasta Khan’s trial, Miss Cheema told the jury: «The essence of what is alleged in this case is relatively straightforward.

«It is that in 2010 and 2011 they both became radicalised by material found on the internet such as an al Qaeda magazine called Inspire, the aim of which is to encourage Muslims in the West and this country to carry out violent holy war or jihad by mounting attacks in their own countries independent of any outside direction or association with any other person.

«They became radicalised by the teaching of extremist Islamists who were themselves motivated by al Qaeda.

«In response, the two of them they began to make preparations or assisted each other to make preparations to carry out a terrorist attack on British soil, with the most likely target being an orthodox Jewish area of Prestwich in Greater Manchester.» Miss Cheema continued: «Perhaps it can be summarised this way – it was jihad at home.

«Between them they acquired substances, common or garden that can be purchased in supermarkets, equipment and information of use that would help them to make explosives and began the process of assembling an improvised explosive device.»

The couple also carried out «multiple reconnaissance» trips of Jewish areas of Salford or Manchester, it was alleged.

«Mercifully they were both stopped and arrested before they could go any further and finalise and carry out their plans,» the prosecutor said.

Miss Cheema told the jury that, «behind the apparent normality of daily life», the couple believed in and supported an extreme ideology of jihad or holy war against the enemies of Islam – especially Jewish people.

The couple were both UK citizens, living in this country and subject to our laws, Miss Cheema said, but however strongly someone may object to British foreign policy it would amount to a criminal offence to act as they did.

«This couple were caught at the stage of preparation,» Miss Cheema said.

«They did not achieve the production of a functioning bomb, they scoped possible locations for an attack but did not yet have the final ability to carry it out.»

The trial continues.