“My Brother The Islamist”
Richard Dart was tried and jailed April 24, 2013 for plotting to attack soldiers in Royal Wootton Bassett.
- Dart and two other British Islamic extremists jailed at the Old Bailey
- Ex-PCSO Jahangir Alom and Imran Mahmood given four and nine years
- They all admitted engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorism
- Dart and Alom travelled to Pakistan to get terrorist training
- Conversations reveal targets were Wootton Bassett and secret services
- Judge brands them ‘committed fundamentalists’ who would have been prepared to kill
- Dart’s extremist beliefs were revealed in a BBC documentary in 2011
A white Muslim convert who plotted to attack soldiers in Royal Wootton Bassett was jailed for six years yesterday.
Richard Dart, 30, the son of teachers, was arrested as he tried to leave for terrorist training in Pakistan.
The former BBC security guard refused to stand for his sentencing at the Old Bailey, telling Mr Justice Simon: ‘Judgment is only for Allah.’
Middle-class Dart was converted to Islam by hate preacher Anjem Choudary, who also inspired a plot to attack the London Stock Exchange.
Dart was sentenced alongside Jahangir Alom, 26, a former Met police community support officer, and unemployed Imran Mahmood, 22.
Mahmood, caught bringing two rucksacks with traces of explosives on them back from Pakistan, was jailed for nine years, nine months.
Alom, who the court heard served in the Territorial Army in G Company of the 7th Battalion the Rifles, was jailed for four years, six months.
He wanted to be sent to Afghanistan so he could launch an inside attack, but was discharged on medical grounds. Police are hunting a fourth suspect thought to have fled to Pakistan.
The trio were captured in a huge surveillance operation by Scotland Yard and MI5. Investigators learned friends Dart and Alom teamed up with Mahmood in a bid to train with Al Qaeda in Pakistan, after a previous trip ended in failure.
The men spoke in ‘silent conversations’, writing messages on a laptop and immediately deleting them. But the laptop automatically saved damning fragments, including references to attacking Royal Wootton Bassett and the ‘heads’ of MI5 and MI6, and ways to contact the Taliban.
Mahmood said he had seen a bomb-making manual.
Mr Justice Simon told the trio they held ‘radical Islamist beliefs and have shown yourselves to be committed to acts of terrorism’.
Mahmood and Dart were both given extended sentences, meaning that they will serve two-thirds of their prison terms rather than half, and they will spend five years on licence.
The judge said that they were all ‘committed fundamentalists’ who would have been prepared to kill.
He told Dart and Mahmood: ‘I’m satisfied to the required criminal standard that neither of you had ruled out an attack in the United Kingdom, and that you, Mahmood, were looking at arming yourself with a bomb.’
Dart and Alom travelled to Pakistan to try to get terrorist training, and took advice from Mahmood who had already visited the country.
Former BBC security guard Dart also discussed bomb making with Mahmood, and military repatriation town Wootton Bassett as a potential target.
Police discovered fragments of text on Dart’s laptop that revealed that the pair had used the computer to have a ‘silent conversation’ to avoid possible surveillance bugs.
They would open a Word document and take it in turns to type, before deleting the text and mistakenly assuming that none of it would be stored on the machine.
However forensic experts were able to plough through 2,000 pages of computer code to decipher fragments of what was said.
These included Mahmood making a reference to Wootton Bassett and then adding ‘if it comes down to it it’s that or even just to deal with a few MI5 MI6 heads’.
Counter-terrorism teams also believe that the pair used the same tactic walking down the street with a mobile phone.
Mr Justice Simon said the men held ‘radical Islamic views’, were ‘dangerous’ and could kill.
Last night Choudary, whose groups Islam4UK and Muslims Against Crusades have been banned, launched an extraordinary defence of Dart, saying he was jailed for a ‘thought crime’ and had ‘committed no sin and harmed nobody’, adding ‘Jihad training’ is a duty for Muslim men.
The cleric appeared with Dart in a BBC film, My Brother The Islamist. In it, Dart said there were ‘many misconceptions about Al Qaeda’ and protested at a homecoming for soldiers.
Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Osborne called the case ‘a classic example of how terrorists live in our midst’.
Dart and Mahmood were both born in the UK, while Alom was born in Bangladesh but is a British citizen.
A pre-sentence report concluded that the trio are all dangerous offenders.
Dart, 30, of Broadway, Ealing, west London; Mahmood, 22, from Dabbs Hill Lane, Northolt, west London, and Alom, 26, of Abbey Road, Stratford, east London had all been stopped at airports while travelling to and from Pakistan.
When Mahmood was stopped at Manchester in 2010, traces of explosives were found on two rucksacks that he had with him.
He later admitted that he had received rudimentary training in explosives while in Pakistan.
Dart, who changed his name to Salahuddin al-Britani, became involved in extremism after moving from his home town Weymouth to east London and fraternising with radical preacher Anjem Choudary.
His beliefs were brought into the spotlight as part of a television documentary My Brother The Islamist, by his stepbrother Robb Leech.
Alom joined the Territorial Army in 2006 as part of the G Company 7th Battalion the Rifles, but did not complete his training due to medical reasons.
The following year he became a PCSO but left the job in September 2009.
Mr Justice Simon said that he and Dart were ‘the object of suspicion’ for their fellow radicals, and may have felt the need to prove themselves.
Read more at Daily Mail
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