An asylum seeker and a refugee from Iraq are alleged to have plotted a driverless car bomb attack in the UK, targetting “infidels”, Sheffield Crown Court has heard.
Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC told the jury Tuesday that Iraqi asylum seeker Farhad Salah, 23, and Iraqi refugee Andy Star, 32, had plotted an attack using an improvised explosive device (IED) delivered to the target site using driverless vehicles “in a way here in the UK that spared their own lives, preferably, but harmed others they considered to be infidels”, reports The Times.
While presenting the prosecution’s case to the jury, Ms Whyte read out a message that Salah had sent weeks before his arrest, which said: “My only attempt is to find a way to carry out martyrdom operation with cars without driver, everything is perfect only the programme is left.”
She added that Salah was not “planning alone” and was working together with Star, who worked at the Mermaid Fish Bar in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, in the East Midlands of England. She alleged that Star had access to materials for making an IED and had been building test devices in the flat above the shop.
“It is entirely conceivable that Andy Star’s extreme views developed a relatively short time before the events with which we are now concerned,” she claimed.
In November 2017, Star is said to have shared a 58-minute long Islamist propaganda video showing beheadings, warfare, and executions “to inspire supporters of IS (Islamic State)” and “frighten those who do not support IS”. The prosecution alleged that Salah’s social media communication also exposed “his affiliation to Islamic State”.
Both were arrested during counter-terror raids on December 19th, 2017. Star, who was granted asylum in 2010, was arrested in Chesterfield and Salah in Sheffield.
Ms Whyte told the court that Salah had made an asylum application in 2014, but at the time of his arrest in late 2017, his claim had not been resolved.
During searches, counter-terror investigators found two Samurai swords, three air rifles, homemade fireworks, “a variety of improvised homemade fuses”, and a wine bottle full of sulphuric acid at Star’s property.
Investigators also found gunpowder and a “viable pyrotechnic fuse” at Salah’s Sheffield home.
Both deny the charges. The trial is ongoing and is expected to last four weeks.