(AFP) Three British Muslims including a convert to Islam were jailed on Thursday for planning acts of terror.
White Muslim convert Richard Dart, 30, a former security guard for the BBC, was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment at England’s Old Bailey central criminal court in London.
Imran Mahmood, 22, was jailed for nine years and nine months and 26-year-old Jahangir Alom for four-and-a-half years.
Dart and Alom had admitted seeking terror training in Pakistan while Mahmood, who had already received terror training, gave them advice.
Judge Peregrine Simon told the trio they had “radical Islamist beliefs and have shown yourselves to be committed to acts of terrorism”.
Dart refused to stand as he was sentenced, saying: “I believe ruling and judging is only for Allah.”
The court heard that Dart and Mahmood discussed bomb-making and identified the southern English town of Royal Wootton Bassett — where British soldiers killed in Afghanistan were repatriated until 2011 — as a potential target.
The three men were arrested in July last year.
All of them had been stopped at airports at various points while travelling to and from Pakistan.
Traces of explosives were found on two of Mahmood’s rucksacks when he was stopped at Manchester Airport in northwest England in 2010.
Dart once featured in a documentary about his conversion to Islam and had changed his name to Salahuddin al-Britani.
The court heard that he and Mahmood communicated by typing into a document on Dart’s laptop, in “silent conversations” designed to avoid surveillance.
They mistakenly believed that if they deleted the text it would not be stored on the computer, but forensic experts were able to retrieve the conversations.
Dart and Mahmood were both given extended sentences, meaning they will serve a minimum of two-thirds of their sentences.
Alom was a Police Community Support Officer and had also been in the Territorial Army volunteer reservists before he rejected mainstream society.
Dart, the son of teachers, was born in Dorset in southwest England. Mahmood was also born in Britain while Alom, a British citizen, was born in Bangladesh.