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UK unearths home-grown terror cell

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Alleged terrorist plotters (from the left) Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali, both 27.

A British court has been told that an al-Qaeda inspired group including up to 8 bombers were planning “another 9/11” in the UK, local media reported.

Woolwich Crown Court heard that a Birmingham-based Jihadist group, whose chieftains received training in Pakistan, had plans to induce “mass deaths” in crowded areas, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Last September, police arrested 12 people including 11 men and one woman on various terrorism charges, the details of their case only emerged today as the central three plotters went on trial, according to the report.

The three including Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27 were said to have received training in bomb-making, how to use weapons and poisons in Pakistan before returning to the UK to recruit others for their plot, the report said.

The accused, all unemployed from Birmingham, deny a number of terror charges including planning a bombing campaign, recruiting others for terrorism and terrorism fundraising.

“In September 2011, and after, officers of the West Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit arrested a number of young men from the Birmingham area, who are resident in this country”, Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, told the court.

“With it the police successfully disrupted a plan to commit an act or acts of terrorism on a scale potentially greater than the London bombings in July 2005, if it had been allowed running its course”, said Altman QC.

“Although the finer details had not been worked out and agreed upon, the defendants were proposing to detonate up to eight rucksack bombs in a suicide attack and/or detonate bombs on timers in crowded areas in order to cause mass deaths and casualties”, he added.

“As you will hear, one of them was even to describe their plan as ‘another 9/11’, “, noted the judge.
“The defendants are jihadists – extremists, influenced, in particular, but not exclusively, by the lectures and writings of Anwar Al-Awlaki, a US born extremist of Yemeni descent, and an affiliate of Al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula”, he added.

“Each of the defendants made the deliberate decision to become a terrorist, following, what they believed to be, the right path dictated by their extreme religious and ideological beliefs”, said Altman.

Britain and the US launched invasions against a number of countries across the world including Iraq and Afghanistan based on illusions prompted after September 11, 2001 attacks on the US soil. Those invasions were aimed at rooting out what they described terrorism, but they backfired and produced a raft of home-grown terror groups, who are working round the clock to target British and US interests inside their own countries.


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