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UK: Four Asians jailed for plotting terror acts

April 18, 2013 19:32 IST

Four British-Asians -- who were plotting to attack an army base with a bomb-laden toy car and were preparing for terror training in Pakistan -- have been jailed for a total of 30 years in London.

Ringleader Zahid Iqbal, 31, and Mohammed Sharfaraz, 25, were each jailed for 16 years and three months after Justice Wilkie said they pose a significant danger to the public.

They had been secretly recorded plotting to guide a bomb mounted onto a remote-controlled toy car into a British Army base.

Umar Arshad, 24, was jailed for six years and nine months, and a fourth aide Syed Farhan Hussain, 22, was jailed for five years and three months.

All four had been arrested in April 2012 and pleaded guilty to terror offences at the Woolwich Crown Court, which heard that the gang had debated obtaining weapons and raising funds for their plans.

Their conversations were secretly recorded in a joint British police and MI5 operation.

Prosecutor Max Hill also told the court that the men had prepared for a terror training camp hidden in the mountains of Pakistan by joining physical training exercises in the hills of Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons.

The men allegedly downloaded internet instructions for an attack, bought survival gear and collected money for terrorism.

They also admitted "facilitating, planning and encouraging" overseas travel for terror purposes.

Lawyers for the men said that although the men had pleaded guilty, they did not pose an imminent threat to people in the United Kingdom.

The court had previously heard how Iqbal and Ahmed had discussed "multiple targets", but talked specifically about attacking the Territorial Army centre on Marsh Road in Luton, nearly 50 km north of London.

In another recording, the men discussed how to make a homemade bomb, based on instructions available in an English-language jihadi magazine.

According to media reports, as the tapes were played in court, the four men sat smiling and giggling in the dock.

Aditi Khanna In Lodnon
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