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Terrorist Munir Mohammed was days away from launching attack - Derby was most likely target
From the Derby Telegraph and Sky News
Munir Mohammed, 37, enlisted the help of pharmacist Rowaida el-Hassan on SingleMuslim.com after volunteering for a lone wolf mission directed by a man he believed was an IS commander on Facebook. Mohammed, a Sudanese asylum seeker who arrived in the back of a lorry in February 2014, was arrested in December 2016 at his home in Leopold Street, Derby.
Police found two of the three components for the explosive TATP, manuals on how to make explosives, mobile phone detonators and ricin, a deadly poison. He had also researched the deadly poison ricin while working illegally in a Kerry Foods factory making sauces for supermarket chains.
He bought two of the three ingredients required to make the explosive called triacetone triperoxide (TATP), known as Mother of Satan, and thought he had a third. Investigators believe that it was only his lack of English that meant he had accidentally bought the wrong third ingredient.
Munir Mohammed captured on CCTV at his local Asda where he bought the wrong type of nail varnish remover to make explosives
He needed Hassan's help because hydrogen peroxide, one of the bomb's components is a "p-line" product, which means that customers have to speak to the pharmacist before it can be purchased. Hassan, a former Boots pharmacist, "rapidly formed an emotional attachment" after meeting Mohammed online, prosecutors said.
Both Mohammed and Hassan, 33, of Willesden Lane, northwest London, denied preparing terrorist acts between November 2015 and December 2016. An Old Bailey jury on Monday found the pair guilty of the plot and Judge Michael Topolski QC remanded the pair in custody, warning therm they face jail when they are sentenced on 22 February.
Anne Whyte QC, prosecuting, told the jury at the Old Bailey: "Rowaida Hassan was the educated assistant with a rallying cry when he needed it and the pharmaceutical knowledge to help. Munir Mohammed was the active heavy lifter. They were both assets to ISIS in their different ways."
The senior detective who investigated terrorist Munir Mohammed says he was days away from launching his attack and he thinks the most likely target would have been Derby.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Greenwood said Mohammed was "very keen" to strike and had two of the three components for a high explosive in his city flat, along with instruction manuals on how to prepare explosives, mobile phone detonators and the poison ricin.
DCI Greenwood said Mohammed was waiting for instructions from a so-called IS commander known online as Abubakr Kurdi. But none had come and Mohammed was itching to attack.
No precise location had been chosen but officers believe Derby was the likely target. “He was keen to attack and he lived in Derby. I think if he had been given a task by Kurdi than the location would have been somewhere more iconic like London. It’s entirely speculative to think about what sort of location he would have chosen. There’s no set criteria but other Islamic State-inspired attacks mean it could have been a shopping centre, a high street or a sporting venue. . . We were days or weeks away from the attack taking place.”
Derbyshire's Chief Constable says Munir Mohammed - who plotted an Islamic State-style attack in the UK - will probably not be the last terrorist the city has seen. Derby has seen numerous terrorists in the last few years and, earlier this year, Mr Goodman warned fanatics from the county who had travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for Islamic State were returning home.
Mr Goodman, talking about the Mohammed case, said: “I’ve been concerned about Derbyshire producing someone who is prepared to carry out an attack. This is an example where it’s not people being radicalised at a Mosque or on street corners. This is an individual who has been radicalised online and who has picked up a sick and vile narrative. Munir Mohammed is not the first person to be involved in terrorism in Derby and he probably won’t be the last . . .It keeps me awake at night that this is happening. There’s a group of around 20,000 people that the authorities have some knowledge of in the UK but who are not monitored very closely. The worry is any of those 20,000 could have a small change of behaviour and could be able to commit an atrocity on London Bridge, Manchester Arena or the Intu Centre, that’s the concern."
Last month, the Derby Telegraph revealed authorities in Derbyshire had seen a big increase in the number of people being referred to them over fears they were extremists.
Derby is, or was a pleasant provincial town. Or as one of the county towns of Derbyshire, with a cathedral it is more properly a city. Industrial (Rolls Royce), a decent football team, a new university. This can and is happening everywhere. Middle England is waking up.