'Silent Bomber' Mohammed Rehman and wife Sana Ahmed Khan sentenced to life in prison for London terror plot

The couple were said to be "days away" the attack before they were arrested by anti-terror police in May

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The Independent Online

The 'silent bomber' Mohammed Rehman and his ex-wife Sana Ahmed Khan have been sentenced to life in prison for their foiled plot to stage a terror attack on a Westfield shopping centre in London. 

The couple were found guilty of  preparing an act of terrorism at the Old Bailey yesterday.

Rehman, 25, was sentenced to serve a minimum of 27 years and Khan, 24, will spend a minimum of 25 years behind bars. 

Rehman was also convicted of possessing an article for terrorist purposes.

Mohammed Rehman used a 'Silent Bomber' Twitter profile to ask for advice on his terror plot (Thames Valley Police)

The couple's plot - planned to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 attacks on the London underground network which killed 52 people - was foiled when Rehman tweeted asking for advice on possible targets using the user "Silent Bomber". 

An undercover investigator found the tweet which said "Westfield shopping centre or London underground? Any advice would be appreciated greatly" ​and struck up a conversation with Rehman who told him he was preparing for martyrdom. 

Rehman - using explosives paid for by his then wife using payday loans and her wages - even detonated a bomb in his back garaden in prepartion.

He then tweeted pictures saying "test detonation of my keys to paradise :) 35 pounds of HME". 

When British anti-terror police raided Rehman's home in Reading they found a Jihadi John-style hunting knife and chemicals for a massive bomb that was said to be "days away" from completion.

Rehman initially fled the house when police arrived at his door on 28 May but was stopped by police at the local Co-op.

At first he attempted to tell officers there was nothing dangerous in his home but then claimed he had a bomb in the house ready to detonate with the touch of remote controlled button as "nobody gets in the way of [his] jihad".

The couple are believed to have shared a "common interest" in extreme Islamist ideology and Isis. They had repeatedly researched the 7/7  bombings and Rehman had expressed the desire "to play his own part". 

The pair - who lived apart because her parents did not approved of their relationship - turned on each other during the trial and accused each other of being the real extremist. 

The couple married in a secret Islamic ceremony in 2013 after meeting as teenagers despite university graduate Khan's mother warning her she would disowned if she married him.

Rehman was described as members of his own family as a "lowlife idiot" who spent most of his time bingeing on drink and drugs and was "notorious" in the local Muslim community as an extremist. 

Additional reporting by PA