Law student found guilty of ‘terror manual’ possession in secret trial

Reporting restrictions lifted by judge in controversial case

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The Independent Online

A law student who was the subject of a controversial secret trial was convicted for possessing a bomb-making manual, it can now be reported.

Erol Incedal, 26, is said to have kept the manual on a memory card adhesive-taped to the inside of his iPhone cover. He now faces a retrial starting on 23 February next year after jurors failed to agree whether he was plotting a terrorist attack.

Incidal is accused of having discussed plans to carry out a Munbai-style massacre in the UK using assault rifles. He is said to have had a black Islamic State flag as his mobile phone wallpaper background.

This morning the judge Mr Justice Nicol revoked an order banning reporting of the jury's unanimous guilty verdict on a charge of possessing information likely to be useful to a terrorist.

The judge said the order was no longer necessary after ruling that the verdict was admissible at next year’s retrial.

Parts of the case were heard in public, but a large proportion of the five-week trial was heard either entirely in secret or before ten accredited journalists who could not report what they heard. The same procedure is expected to be followed for the retrial.

Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, a friend of Incdeal who is also 26 years old, has already pleaded guilty to possessing another copy of the bomb-making manual.

Incedal was born in Turkey in 1988 and was brought to the UK by his mother at the age of one. His father, a communist, and his sister, a Kurdish separatist militant, died when he was young. Expelled from his primary school and almost excluded from his secondary school, he became interested in Islam at the age of 14.

He became a member of the Tableeghi Jamaat Islamic movement and travelled with them to Greece, New York and Bangladesh.

Mr Incedal came under suspicion in September 2013 when he was stopped for driving his car 20mph over the speed limit near London’s Tower Bridge.

A search of his car uncovered a piece of paper detailing the address of a house owned by former prime minister Tony Blair, which Incedal argued at his trial was in the public domain.

A listening device recorded him discussing obtaining a gun with Rarmoul-Bouhadjar,  saying 'I hate white people', and in another conversation saying he might have to switch to 'plan B' after his car was searched.

He claimed he was plotting armed robbery, and not a terrorist attack.

He was ultimately arrested on 13 October last year, when he was stopped by armed officers who fired bullets into the tyres of his car in Mansell Street, Whitechapel.