Updated: Six plead guilty to Dewsbury EDL rally terror plot

TERROR TARGET The English Defence League demonstation in Dewsbury town centre last June.
TERROR TARGET The English Defence League demonstation in Dewsbury town centre last June.

Six men have pleaded guilty to planning a terror attack on an English Defence League (EDL) rally in Dewsbury.

The men from the West Midlands admitted preparing acts of terrorism between May 1 and July 4 last year.

Their target was a national EDL demonstration in the town centre on Saturday June 30.

Omar Mohammed Khan, 28, Mohammed Hasseen, 23, Anzal Hussain, 24, Mohammed Saud, 22, Zohaib Ahmed, 22, and Jewel Uddin, 27, all admitted their involvement during a hearing at Woolwich Crown Court this morning (Tuesday).

Five of the group took a homemade bomb to the rally site, but arrived too late.

They were caught after one of their cars was stopped for having no insurance.

Assistant chief constable Marcus Beale, of West Midlands Police, said: “We acted quickly to identify, locate and detain all these dangerous men as soon as possible.

“A lot of people would have been at risk of very serious injury or even loss of life had the attack been carried out.”

The court heard that the crowd of around 450 protestors had completely dispersed by the time the would-be bombers arrived in Dewsbury.

The group then spent two hours touring the area, visiting a mosque and a chip shop before heading back to the Midlands.

A patrol officer on the M1 motorway stopped driver Omar Khan because he was concerned about the condition of the aging Laguna.

The car appeared to have no insurance so it was immediately seized and loaded onto a recovery vehicle.

Two sawn-off shot guns, kitchen knives, machetes, elements of a partially constructed pipe bomb and an improvised explosive device were found in the boot on the following Monday by staff at the compound where the car was taken.

A detailed search by police also found 10 copies of a document, addressed to the ‘enemies of Islam’, the Queen and David Cameron, which outlined the group’s intentions and motivations towards the EDL.

It emerged in court that two of the men had been known to counter terrorism officers and the Security Service.

But detectives said there was no intelligence to indicate group members were closely connected or planning an imminent attack on the EDL.

Asst Chf Con Beale said: “The police and security services have become very good at disrupting terrorist plots but we all acknowledge that a successful attack remains a strong possibility.

“One of the men involved had been on the fringes of a previous investigation but had not reached the arrest threshold, and another had previously been charged with possessing terrorist literature. However, there was nothing to indicate that these men posed this level of immediate risk - which would have allowed us to place them under a more intrusive level of surveillance.

“They planned carefully and took steps to avoid drawing attention to themselves by opting for relatively unsophisticated weapons and avoiding electronic communication. They were surveillance savvy and even left their mobile phones at home when they travelled to Dewsbury.

“Therefore it is vital that members of the public remain vigilant to the fact that terrorist attacks remain a strong possibility and call us if they have any concerns.”

All six men have admitted preparing for acts of terrorism. Hasseen admitted an additional charge of possessing documents likely to be of use to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism.

They will be sentenced in June.

Following the pleas, it can now be reported that Zohaib Ahmed was sentenced to 14 months in prison in October last year after admitting possession of documents likely to be of use to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

He was on court bail awaiting trial when he was arrested on suspicion of the planned EDL attack.