Friend of ter­ror­ist who wanted to kill PM found guilty of ISIS travel plan

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Emily Pen­nink Staff Re­porter

THE Birm­ing­ham friend of an Is­lamic State ex­trem­ist who plot­ted to as­sas­si­nate Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May has him­self been found guilty of pre­par­ing to join ter­ror­ists abroad.

Mo­hammed Aqib Im­ran, 22, from Sparkhill, made ar­range­ments to travel for ji­had, around the time Naa’imur Zakariyah Rah­man, 21, was set on a sui­cide at­tack on the heart of Gov­ern­ment.

Rah­man, also from Birm­ing­ham, helped his friend by record­ing an IS spon­sor­ship video for him, the Old Bai­ley heard.

But the pair were snared by a net­work of on­line role-play­ers from the Met Po­lice, MI5 and the FBI.

Rah­man’s plans to kill Theresa May were scup­pered when un­der­cover of­fi­cers handed him a jacket and ruck­sack packed with fake ex­plo­sives.

Fol­low­ing a trial in July, he was con­victed of pre­par­ing acts of ter­ror­ism, and Im­ran was found guilty of pos­sess­ing a ter­ror­ist hand­book. In Au­gust, Rah­man was jailed for life with a min­i­mum term of 30 years.

He also pleaded guilty dur­ing his trial to as­sist­ing Im­ran in the prepa­ra­tion of ter­ror­ist acts by record­ing a spon­sor­ship video.

Fol­low­ing a re­trial, for­mer stu­dent Im­ran was fur­ther found guilty of pre­par­ing acts of ter­ror­ism abroad on or be­fore Novem­ber 28, 2017.

Prose­cu­tor Mark Hey­wood QC said: “At the heart of this case is a de­vel­op­ing rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion in the minds of two men who came to know each other on­line and af­ter­wards met and be­gan to col­lab­o­rate.

“Both thought about trav­el­ling abroad to fur­ther their cause, go­ing to a con­flict zone such as Syria to lend sup­port to vi­o­lence.

“Each also con­tem­plated carry- ing out ter­ror­ist here in the UK.

“Mo­hammed Im­ran elected to travel and set about as­sem­bling money, ac­quir­ing a fake pass­port, en­gag­ing in re­search and oth­er­wise equip­ping him­self with the in­for­ma­tion and means to travel aboard for vi­o­lence for ter­ror­ist pur­poses

“Naa’imur Rah­man’s con­clu­sion was that lethal vi­o­lence here, di­rected at the very heart of the UK Gov­ern­ment, was the only ef­fec­tive way to pur­sue his in­ten­tions.

“Be­fore his ar­rest pre­vented it, he was, he be­lieved, just days away from his ob­jec­tive, which was no less than a sui­cide at­tack by blade and ex­plo­sion, on Down­ing Street and, if he could, upon Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May her­self.”

The court heard how Im­ran’s pre­ferred des­ti­na­tion was Libya or pos­si­bly Jor­dan with a view to on­ward travel to Syria. He had saved money to pay for a fake pass­port and re­searched travel op­tions, the court heard.

He down­loaded the man­ual How to Sur­vive in the West – a Mu­jahid’s Guide 2015 with a view to join­ing IS, the jury was told.

Im­ran de­nied the charge against him, claim­ing he only wanted to get mar­ried to a wo­man in Den­mark. The jury de­lib­er­ated for less than 18 hours to find him guilty of pre­par­ing to en­gage in acts of ter­ror­ism. He will be sen­tenced on Jan­uary 25. acts of vi­o­lence

> Mo­hammed Aquib Im­ran

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