IPT – by John Rossomando:
A court in Birmingham, England has convicted three men of plotting to carry out a suicide bombing campaign inspired by the late terrorist mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki.
Irfan Khalid, Ashik Ali and Irfan Naseer were radicalized by Awlaki’s lectures and by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula’s Inspire magazine, which regularly featured the terrorist mastermind’s articles prior to his death in a September 2011 drone strike.
Police found lectures by al-Awlaki on Khalid’s cell phone, including “The Book of Jihad,” “It’s a War against Islam,” “Brutality towards Muslims” and “Stop Police Terror.”
According to the Telegraph, Khalid encouraged his fellow plotters to listen to al-Awlaki’s lectures.
Additional CD-ROMs containing talks by al-Awlaki were found in Khalid’s grandparents’ home. The terrorist leader’s messages were also found stored in Ali’s laptop and cell phone.
The trio experimented with making bombs using ammonium nitrate they removed from sports injury cold packs. Experts told the court they could have developed a viable improvised explosive device (IED) using their bomb-making recipe.
Such tactics resemble the sort of “Open Source Jihad” tactics advocated in Inspire that call for small groups or individual jihadists to make bombs and other weapons using readily available ingredients.
“They wanted to commit their own 9/11. They were critical of the July 7  bombers because they didn’t kill enough people,” said Marcus Beale, assistant commissioner of the West Midlands Police, the Guardian reported. “From evidence we presented to the court there were 8-10 bombs that they wanted to deploy, a mixture of suicide bombs and IEDs. So in terms of their capability, if they delivered on the plans that they had they would have committed mass murder on a horrendous scale.”
A coordinated series of bombings in London in 2005 killed 52 people in what is known as the 7/7 attacks.
Another of the plans the trio discussed involving the attaching of blades to the wheels of cars to mow down pedestrians came directly from an Inspire article titled, “The Ultimate Mowing Machine.”
Al-Awlaki has been tied to numerous other terror plots, including: Maj. Nidal Hasanand the Fort Hood shooting, Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab‘s plot to blow up an airliner with a bomb in his underwear and Faisal Shahzad‘s plot to blow up a truck in Times Square. The 9/11 Commission Report also stated he was tied to two of the 9/11 hijackers.
Although al-Awlaki might be gone his message lingers in his videos that are still for sale in Islamic bookstores and in more than 2,000 YouTube videos.
- Would-be suicide bombers found guilty (guardian.co.uk)
- Birmingham plot: Al-Qaeda preacher who influenced plotters (telegraph.co.uk)
- Fears of new generation of terrorists who found the ‘heart of the beast’ of al-Qaeda (telegraph.co.uk)