Friend of Jihadist Who Plotted Theresa May Beheading Guilty of Terror Offences

Imran and Rahman
Metropolitan Police/AP
VICTORIA FRIEDMAN

Mohammad Aqib Imran, 22, was found guilty at the Old Bailey on Thursday of terrorism offences after making plans to join Islamic State.

Imran, from Birmingham, was friends with 20-year-old Bangladesh-born north London resident Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, who was jailed earlier this year for plotting to behead Prime Minister Theresa May.

The pair had been caught following investigations and undercover operations from the combined efforts of the Metropolitan Police, MI5, and America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The Metropolitan Police released a statement explaining that while Imran (above left) was not charged in relation to the plot against the Prime Minister, they found that he had been communicating online with Rahman (above right) and that they had met twice in person.

Rahman had recorded a “sponsor” video, so Imran could show it to jihadists when he travelled to Libya to join Islamic State.

Acting Commander for the Metropolitan Police’s Counter-Terrorism Command, Alexis Boon, said, “The idea was that Rahman would kill the Prime Minister and Imran would subsequently have a video from a martyr recommending he be accepted into the terrorist organisation. Such a video would have held weight with [the Islamic State].”

Both Rahman and Imran were arrested on November 28th, 2017, with investigators finding the sponsor video on Rahman’s phone and a terrorist guidebook titled How to Survive in the West – a Mujahid’s Guide 2015 on Imran’s Kindle.

Rahman, who had also lived in Birmingham, was arrested after going to pick up what he thought was a backpack full of explosives in a counter-terror police sting operation. He was sentenced to life with a minimum of 30 years imprisonment.

Imran was found guilty of possessing the terrorist handbook and, following a retrial, was also found guilty of preparing acts of terrorism abroad.

During Rahman’s trial in July, the jury heard he had planned a “curry mix” of attacks using a suicide belt, bombs, drones, and poison, including against 10 Downing Street with the intention of beheading Mrs May, and was “just days away” from launching his attack before being arrested.

Rahman had also allegedly received training in making bombs from his uncle, Abu Ayoub, who had travelled to Syria to join Islamic State before being eliminated by a coalition drone strike.

Prosecutor Mark Heywood QC said, “At the heart of this case is a developing radicalisation in the minds of two men who came to know each other online and afterwards met and began to collaborate.

“Both thought about travelling abroad to further their cause, going to a conflict zone such as Syria to lend support to violence. Each also contemplated carrying out terrorist acts of violence here in the UK.

“Mohammed Imran elected to travel and set about assembling money, acquiring a fake passport, engaging in research and otherwise equipping himself with the information and means to travel aboard for violence for terrorist purposes

“Naa’imur Rahman’s conclusion was that lethal violence here, directed at the very heart of the UK Government, was the only effective way to pursue his intentions.

“Before his arrest prevented it, he was, he believed, just days away from his objective, which was no less than a suicide attack by blade and explosion, on Downing Street and, if he could, upon Prime Minister Theresa May herself.”

Imran is due to be sentenced on January 25th.

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