Couple were 'days away' from carrying out 7/7 anniversary suicide bombing in London, court heard

Mohammed Rehman allegedly asked his Twitter followers whether he should carry out a suicide attack at Westfield shopping centre or on the London Underground

Doug Bolton
Tuesday 17 November 2015 20:03 GMT
The number 30 bus lies destroyed in Tavistock square on 7 July 2005
The number 30 bus lies destroyed in Tavistock square on 7 July 2005 (DYLAN MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

A married couple plotted to launch a suicide attack in London on the tenth anniversary of the 7/7 bombings, a court has heard.

25-year-old Mohammed Rehman and his 24-year-old wife Sana Ahmed Khan appeared at the Old Bailey on Tuesday accused of preparing terrorist acts.

Rehman is also accused of possessing an article for terrorist purposes. Both deny all the charges against them.

The pair, both from Reading, were arrested by anti-terror police this year after Rehman's Twitter account was discovered.

Using the name 'Silent Bomber', he allegedly used it to talk about suicide bombing extensively, asking his followers in one tweet: "Westfield shopping centre or London Underground? Any advice would be appreciated greatly."

Meanwhile, he allegedly bought the ingredients for explosives on eBay with the help of his wife, even filming himself testing one of the bombs in his back garden.

Raiding his house, officers found a large hunting knife and chemicals for a bomb that could have caused "multiple fatalities" and was only days away from completion, jurors were told.

Prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC also said he was "fixated" on the 7 July bombings in London, telling the court that he had referred to 7/7 bomber Shehzad Tanweer as his "beloved predecessor" in one social media post."

Rehman allegedly asked his followers whether he should attack Westfield or the London Underground
Rehman allegedly asked his followers whether he should attack Westfield or the London Underground (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

The same day, Rehman repeatedly trawled YouTube for material about the London bombings and Tanweer, the court heard.

He also told a Twitter user: "Why don't you head to the London Underground on the 7th July if you got the balls."

The prosecutor said the pair had no "idle fantastical interest" in terrorism, but instead intended to make good on their boasts - he said they were committed to researching, purchasing and testing a "substantial amount" of bomb-making material.

Rehman was "intent on martyrdom" and was unequivocal when he tweeted: "I have other plans if Insha Allah goes to plan and I'm preparing for an Istishaadi (martyrdom) operation," Mr Badenoch said.

He also allegedly tweeted: "Now I just make explosives in preparation for kuffar lol and when I've made the required amount I'll be wearing them on my chest."

Raiding Rehman's house on 28 May this year, officers seized more than 10kg of urea nitrate, a highly explosive chemical.

Rehman had allegedly claimed online that he had bombs rigged up in his home that he would detonate if the police ever arrived, but these claims turned out to be false, the court heard.

Almost similtaneously, his wife was arrested at her family home. When asked by police whether there was any hazardous materials at Rehman's home that could injure or kill, she replied: "I don't know, I don't go to his house."

Khan had known Rehman for 10 years, but kept her marriage to him secret from her family, who did not approve of the drug-taking Rehman.

As a result, the pair stayed living separately with their parents and siblings.

Mr Badenoch told jurors that Rehman frequently had violent arguments with his family, causing his fearful father to spend time away and even sleep rough to avoid him.

Rehman, of Radstock Road, Reading, and Khan, of Hutton Close, Reading, deny wrongdoing and the trial continues.

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