Islamist gang of six jailed for at least 18 years each for plotting bomb attack on EDL rally

Attack of this kind risks starting spiral of tit-for-tat violence, says judge

Six Islamist extremists have been jailed for a total of more than 100 years for plotting a gun and bomb attack on an English Defence League rally that could have sparked spiralling communal violence in Britain.

The six travelled to Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, for the rally attended by several hundred people with a car full of weaponry including a pipe bomb, two shotguns and knives but turned up too late to carry out the attack.

As they drove home to Birmingham, one of their cars was pulled over by police because a plotter failed to fill out an online application form properly and the car showed up as having no insurance.

The weapons were found several days later along with declarations of war addressed to the "kafir (non-believer) female and self proclaimed Queen Elizabeth" and Davd Cameron. The plotters were rounded up by West Midlands officers after a huge anti-terrorism operation.

Sentencing the six men today, Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said: "Apart from the immediate consequences and the terror you would have caused, an attack of this kind risks starting a spiral of tit-for-tat violence - the very action and reaction that you spoke of.

"That simply cannot be a feature of life in a society where the overwhelming majority choose to live in peace and harmony with their fellow men and women, whether they share the same religious beliefs or not."

Jewel Uddin, 27, Omar Mohammed Khan, 31, and Zohaib Ahmed, 22, were jailed for 19-and-a-half years. Mohammed Hasseen, 24, Anzal Hussain, 25, and Mohammed Saud, 23, were given jail terms of 18 years and nine months.

The men, all from the West Midlands, admitted planning the attack at a hearing on April 30. They will serve at least two-thirds of the sentence before they are released.

The plotters were inspired by freely available extremist material available online that they shared among themselves, the court heard.

The group had planned the attack for eight weeks including research to find the telephone number of the EDL's leader Tommy Robinson and tracking the location of EDL rallies. The planned "terrible vengeance" on the EDL for what they saw as blasphemous words and actions against Islam.

Mr Robinson was in the public gallery and called out "God Save the Queen" when the sentences were announced.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones