An Islamist fanatic who called himself the "Silent Bomber" and his secret wife have been found guilty of planning a massive terror attack on London to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the July 7 atrocity.
Extremist Mohammed Rehman, 25, took to Twitter in May asking for suggestions on which target to choose – Westfield shopping centre or the Tube.
With money from his wife Sana Ahmed Khan, 24, he stockpiled the chemicals needed to make a huge bomb at his family home in Reading and even filmed himself setting off a small explosion in his back garden.
Screengrab from video footage taken by emergency services of the scene on board a train between King's Cross and Russell Square tube stations on July 7 2005 (Photo: PA)
The prosecution said Rehman was just days away from completing the device which would have caused multiple casualties in the capital if he had not been stopped by anti-terror police.
The London Underground was a possible target of a terror attack, a court has heard (Photo: ALAMY)
Police began monitoring Rehman after he sent out a tweet in May under the name ‘Silent Bomber’.
The tweet asked followers to advise him on where he should carry out a terrorist attack: "Westfield shopping centre or London underground? Any advice would be appreciated greatly.”
In another tweet, he said: "Plus I don’t need an army, all I need is my explosive vest and a beautiful area full of crowded ***** like you LOL”
Both Rehman and Khan had repeatedly accessed the martyrdom video of the 7/7 bomber Shehzad Tanweer for inspiration.
Rehman had learned how to make bombs and carried out ‘test’ explosions in his garden. He filmed a test explosion and then sent the video to his wife.
Rehman was responsible for creating the bomb but Khan, who was a supporter of violent and extreme Islamic ideology, played an important role by funding and purchasing chemicals for him.
From January 2014 she paid into his account over £14,000. which included borrowings from ‘pay day’ loan companies. Following the test explosion Khan continued to assist Rehman in the purchase of chemical explosives.
Following a trial at the Old Bailey, the couple were found guilty of preparing an act of terrorism around May 28 this year.
Rehman was also convicted of possessing an article for terrorist purposes.
Susan Hemming, head of the Crown Prosecution Service counter terrorism division, said: “The intention to carry out some form of terrorism attack was clear from the threatening statements made in Rehman’s tweets. It was these tweets that led to his and his wife’s arrest.
“Investigations found that Rehman and Ahmed Khan had carried out huge amounts of research relating to terrorist attacks – repeatedly searching the Internet for videos relating to the London bombings. 10kg of Urea Nitrate were found at Rehman’s house, a highly explosive chemical, which if detonated would have caused multiple fatalities on the London Underground.
“The pair had been very close to carrying out an attack, all they required was to purchase the chemicals to make a detonator. There is little doubt that, had Rehman and Ahmed Khan not been stopped when they were, they would have attempted to carry out an act of terrorism in London.”