Four Brits on trial accused of plotting a terror attack in London
Four British men plotted to carry out a series of “drive-by” terrorist shootings on the streets of London inspired by the warped ideology of ISIS, a court has heard.
By the time they were arrested, the men had acquired a gun, silencer, ammunition and were also looking to buy a scooter, prosecutor Brian Altman QC told the Old Bailey, adding that “more than one killing was in their minds”.
Their targets were to be a soldier, police officer or a civilian.
Tarik Hassane, 22, Suhaib Majeed, 21, Nyall Hamlett, 25, and Nathan Cuffy, 26, deny conspiracy to murder and terrorism charges. The men, are all from west London and British citizens, were arrested in September and October 2014.
“With their arrests, the police successfully disrupted a plot to kill a police officer, a soldier or possibly even a civilian, in one or more terrorist attacks, which, if the plot had been allowed to run its course, would have resulted in a terrorist murder or murders on the streets of London, according to the warped ideology of the defendants, in the cause, and for the sake, of Allah,”, Altman told the jury.
The prosecution claims that Hassane, a medical student who was studying in Sudan, had pledged allegiance to Isis in July 2014. The plotters were spurred on by a September 2014 fatwa from Isis urging “its supporters to kill disbelievers in the west”, Altman said.
After the other plotters were arrested, the prosecution told the jury that “Hassane was now, in the absence of the others, quite clearly intending to progress the plan as a lone wolf terrorist to further IS’s terror reach into the capital city of this country”.
Altman added: “So the evidence points to this being a plot to kill; a plot to execute a policeman, or a soldier or, as I say, even an ordinary member of the public, in one or more assassinations either involving a drive-by shooting or a shooting on foot and then a speedy escape by moped.”
The crown claims Hassane used his iPad and Google to carry out hostile reconnaissance in the first week of October 2014 of the police station at Shepherd’s Bush and the Parachute Regiment Territorial Army barracks at White City.
Altman said: “He had made the searches on Google streetview. What this amounted to was hostile reconnaissance – the researching of potential targets – but from the safety – or so he thought – of his iPad.”
Hassane was a medical student and friends with Majeed, a physics student at King’s College London, whom he directed from his studies in Sudan. Hamlett worked for a cleaning company and Cuffy worked at the Money Shop, a foreign exchange and loans company, and is alleged to have been the armourer for the plot.
Altman said: “So here Hassane and Majeed were the principal planners. Hamlett had the all-important key role of being the middleman between the principals and Cuffy, who armed the plot.”
The prosecutor added: “All, say the prosecution, had signed up to a conspiracy to murder. Even though no actual target or targets had been identified, and the defendants were a little way off from carrying it out, nonetheless they had all agreed to kill another person or persons. After all, you can hardly discuss, supply, transfer and acquire a working gun with several rounds of ammunition suitable for use in it, as well as a silencer, for anything less than to kill someone. This is why all the defendants are charged with conspiracy to murder.”
The case at the central criminal court continues and the jury were told it is expected to last three months.