A man from Derby has been found guilty of preparing for a devastating terrorist attack – potentially involving chemical weapons and explosives.
Munir Hassan Mohammed, 36, was convicted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court in London under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 on Monday, January 8.
He stood trial alongside Rowaida El Hassan, 32, from London—also found guilty—and the pair are now due to be sentenced next month.
They were arrested in December 2016 following a major investigation led by Counter Terrorism Policing North East, the East Midlands Special Operations Unit – Special Branch, supported by Derbyshire, and Metropolitan Police Forces.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Greenwood, from Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: “It was only a matter of weeks after meeting that Mohammed and El Hassan had formed such a strong trust that Mohammed shared extremist material with her.
“This then rapidly escalated and El Hassan, a qualified pharmacist, readily passed on her knowledge to Mohammed giving him the technical assistance he needed in preparing for a terrorist attack.”
The court heard how Mohammed had been inspired by terror attacks abroad, and had possible communications with an Isis commander outside of the UK.
When police raided Mohammed’s home in Leopold Street, Derby, they found chemicals and components often found in homemade bombs.
DCI Greenwood added: “Although we do not know what Mohammed and El Hassan’s exact intentions were, a number of concerning items had already been purchased and the pair had done extensive research regarding making TATP, or acetone peroxide, and ricin.”
Chief Superintendent Jim Allen, who is in charge of policing in Derby, said: “Derby has always been a vibrant and multicultural city, and residents of Derby were shocked by these arrests late last year.
“Through our relationship with our partner agencies and through our Safer Neighbourhood teams, we were able to reassure the community and they really pulled together to support each other.”
He added: “This is a stark reminder to Derby residents that the threat of terrorism is real and present and it highlights the need to be vigilant.
“Your local policing teams are at work every day trying to address this threat and it’s testament to the community in Derby that Mohammed was detected and brought to justice before he could act.”