Junead Khan: Luton delivery driver found guilty of preparing for Isis terror attack on American forces in UK

Prosecutors said he planned to join Isis in Syria before attempting to plan attacks in Britain

Lizzie Dearden,Serina Sandhu
Friday 01 April 2016 12:50 BST
Junead Khan
Junead Khan

A delivery driver from Luton has been found guilty of preparing to carry out a terror attack on US military personnel in Britain.

Junead Khan, 25, had considered travelling to Syria to fight for Isis but changed his mind and decided to plan an atrocity on home soil, Kingston Crown Court heard.

Prosecutors said an al-Qaeda guide to making a “viable” pipe bomb had been found on his laptop and claimed he scouted out air bases including the US Air Force's RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk.

Khan had been in contact with Isis militant Junaid Hussain, who was killed by a drone strike in Raqqa last year

Messages between Khan and an Isis fighter in Syria were also found, with the pair discussing the best way to carry out a UK attack.

Following Khan's arrest in July, police found black flags similar to those used by the so-called Islamic State, as well as photos of Khan posing with them.

He was also convicted alongside his uncle, Shazib Khan, 23, of preparing to go to Syria to join Isis. The pair have been remanded in custody and face sentencing on 13 May.

Both men denied engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts between August 2014 and July last year.

Investigators found Khan had been exchanging messages with an Isis fighter believed to be Junaid Hussain, the British hacker killed by a US drone strike in August.

David Cameron said he and another British militant were recruiting sympathisers to "orchestrate barbaric attacks against the West" including unspecified plots in the UK last summer.

The court heard that Khan and Hussain exchanged messages on the encypted SureSpot app starting on 5 July, with Khan discussing faking a road accident before getting out to attack people.

Hussain claimed he could get him addresses of British soldiers, but added: "Most soldiers live in bases which are protected. I suppose on the road is the best idea. Or if you want akhi (brother) I can tell u how to make a bomb (sic)."

Khan replied: "When I saw these soldiers on road it looked simple but I had nothing on me or wouldve got into an accident with them and made them get out of the car (sic)."

"That's what the brother done with Lee Rigby," Hussain added, saying he would send Khan a manual for making a "pressure cooker bomb".

Lee Rigby was killed in a London street after being run over by his two attackers

Kingston Crown Court heard that Prevent, part of the government's anti-extremism programme, was aware of Khan and his uncle in May 2014 - more than a year before his arrest.

Khan was detained on 14 July at a depot for the pharmaceuticals firm he worked for in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, after using the delivery work as cover to find targets.

Sue Hemming, head of the Crown Prosecution Service's counter-terrorism division, said: “Junead Khan was planning an attack in the UK and both of these men intended to travel to Syria and support terrorism.

"Even though they did not leave the country, they had spent a significant amount of time planning their journey.

"Through early detection and prosecution of these individuals, more serious crimes have been avoided which could have had devastating consequences in the UK or Syria.”

Additional reporting by PA

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