A husband and wife jihadi couple has been found guilty of plotting a major terror attack in London on the anniversary of the 7/7 bombings of 2005. Twice the amount of explosives used in the 7/7 attacks was found in their home after one posted for advice about the plot on Twitter.
Would-be suicide bomber Mohammed Rehman and his wife Sana Ahmed Khan were found guilty on Tuesday. The pair had planned to detonate a bomb at Westfield shopping centre or on the London Underground (Tube), on the 10th anniversary of the London terrorist attacks that killed 52 people.
Prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said the pair shared a “common interest” in the Islamic State and in violent Islamist ideology, and that Mr. Rehman argued he was prepared to die because his wife’s parents would not let them be together.
Mr. Rehman, 25, had set up the Twitter account “Silent Bomber” with a picture of Jihadi John, from which he posted: “Westfield shopping centre or London underground? Any advice would be appreciated greatly,” accompanied by a link to an al Qaeda media release about the 7/7 bombings.
On the same day he also searched YouTube for “London bombings” and “Shehzad Tanweer”, one of the London bombers who he referred to as his “beloved predecessor”.
He also 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”, according to the Daily Mail.
The pair were arrested in May after officers raided Mr. Rehman’s home in Reading, Berkshire after the tweets raised the alarm. In the house, they found 10 kilograms of nitrate explosives.
Prosecutors said Rehman proved he was “intent on martyrdom” and the explosives had the potential to cause “multiple fatalities”.
His wife, Mrs. Khan, 24, was convicted of helping her husband plan the atrocity and paying for chemicals purchased from eBay. She had taken out a payday loan.
The couple even filmed themselves testing their homemade explosives.
The court also heard how the pair had met as teenagers and went on to marry without their families’ knowledge in a secret Islamic ceremony.
Mr. Rehman told a bizarre Romeo and Juliet-style story in a attempt to win the forgiveness of his parents-in-law for dragging his wife into the plot.
According to the Evening Standard, he claimed that the only reason he was prepared to “throw his life away” in the attack was because Mrs. Khan’s parents would not let the pair be together.
While detained before the trial, he wrote to his wife’s mother, Saleen, claiming he had was ready to commit the suicide attack because he could not bear a future not with his wife.
“I’m writing to you with the greatest of humility and deepest sincerity,” the letter read, “that I may express my grievance for the pain that I have caused you and your family.
“In order for you to understand this situation, I’d like to take you back to 2006, where I met the best thing that ever happened to me – a precious diamond of a woman – your beautiful daughter Sohni.
“The minute I laid eyes on her, there was nothing more than I could desire from life than to be with her forever.”
Adding: “You, her parents, had already made your minds up about me, not allowing a chance for us to meet…
“You had your reasons to despise me without knowing me, but I dared not challenge them. Thus I was prepared to throw my life away, a future without Sohni was not one that I had planned.”
The pair are set to be sentenced later this week.