Islamists guilty of London Stock Exchange bomb plot

Radical UK citizens inspired by al-Qaida; had also planned attacks on US embassy, home of London mayor, 2 rabbis.

February 2, 2012 01:25
1 minute read.
london stock exchange

london stock exchange 390. (photo credit: REUTERS/Toby Melville)


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LONDON – Four men inspired by al-Qaida have admitted to planning a terrorist attack on the London Stock Exchange and the homes of two London rabbis, whose details have not been published.

Mohammed Chowdhury, 21; Shah Rahman, 28; Gurukanth Desai, 30; and Abdul Miah, 25, pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court in London on Wednesday. Five other men pleaded guilty to other terrorist offenses.

All will be sentenced next week.

They were arrested in December 2010 in a large-scale anti-terror raid by police. It emerged that those who admitted to the London Stock Exchange plot also discussed sending five mail bombs to various targets during the run-up to Christmas 2010, and launching a “Mumbai-style” atrocity.

The terror attack was stopped before any attack dates were set or any homemade bombs were produced.

A handwritten target list was discovered at the home of one of the men. It listed the names and addresses of London Mayor Boris Johnson and two rabbis, as well as addresses of the US Embassy and the London Stock Exchange.

It has emerged that the terrorists, who are all British nationals, were inspired by the preaching of the recently-killed radical extremist and Yemeni cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki. He was also said to have inspired Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the former University of London student who allegedly attempted to blow up a Detroit-bound airline in 2009.

The court heard on Wednesday that Chowdhury, the ringleader, and Rahman were seen by undercover detectives in November 2010 observing London’s Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and the Palace of Westminster. In one police surveillance recording, the men are heard denying the Holocaust.

They both admitted to plotting acts of terrorism by conspiring to plant an improvised explosive device in the toilets of the London Stock Exchange.

Andrew Edis, acting for the prosecution, said the men were “implementing the published strategy of AQAP [al- Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula].”

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