4 UK men con­victed of plot­ting at­tack on sol­diers

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

LON­DON — Three Bri­tish men who dubbed them­selves the “Three Musketeers” were con­victed on Wed­nes­day of plot­ting a bomb at­tack on troops or po­lice in­spired by Is­lamic ex­trem­ism.

Jurors at Lon­don’s Cen­tral Crim­i­nal Court found 29-yearold Naweed Ali, 25-year-old Khobaib Hus­sain and Mo­hibur Rah­man, 33, guilty of pre­par­ing ter­ror­ist acts, af­ter a trial that was partly held in se­cret for na­tional se­cu­rity rea­sons.

A fourth de­fen­dant, Tahir Aziz, was con­victed of the same charge. Pros­e­cu­tors said the 38-year-old was brought into the plot in its later stages.

Ali, Hus­sain and Rah­man met while serv­ing prison terms for ter­ror­ism of­fenses, pros­e­cu­tors said. They later set up a group on a mes­sag­ing app called the “Three Musketeers”.

As they planned an at­tack, the men were un­der sur­veil­lance by the United King­dom’s in­tel­li­gence ser­vice, MI5, which cre­ated a fake courier com­pany in Birm­ing­ham and hired Hussein and Ali.

In Au­gust last year, of­fi­cers searched Ali’s car and found weapons in­clud­ing an im­i­ta­tion hand­gun, a par­tially con­structed pipe bomb and a meat cleaver with the word “kaf­fir” — “in­fi­del” in Ara­bic — scratched onto the blade. Pros­e­cu­tors said the men in­tended to at­tack po­lice or mil­i­tary tar­gets.

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