Four plead guilty to plotting terror attack in Britain



London: Four Pakistani-origin al Qaeda militants have pleaded guilty to plotting a terror attack in Britain with home-made bombs.

Zahid Iqbal, 31, Mohammed Sharfaraz Ahmed, 25, Umar Arshad, 24, and Syed Farhan Hussain, 21, admitted to one charge of engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism at a hearing in Woolwich Crown Court in London yesterday.

All four men were arrested at their homes in Luton, Bedfordshire, in April last year following a series of raids by British security forces.

They were due to stand trial next month but now their case has been adjourned till April 15, when a sentence will be announced.

Justice Wilkie imposed a reporting order on the case, which limits reporting of the hearing to the fact of the guilty pleas and some particulars of the charges.

According to the details of the charge, between January 2011 and April 2012 the four discussed "methods, materials and targets for a terrorist attack, including firearms and improvised explosive devices" and downloaded files "containing practical instruction for a terrorist attack".

They also facilitated and planned overseas travel, took part in physical training, bought survival equipment and collected and supplied funds for terrorist purposes overseas.

Further charges of possessing documents, including six copies each of the al Qaeda magazine Inspire, will be ordered to lie on file following the guilty plea.

Three Birmingham men were recently convicted of conspiring to attack unknown targets in the city.

Irfan Naseer, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali had also been caught after a major surveillance operation and face a life term in jail when they are sentenced in April or May.

PTI