London: Radical Islamists confess to planning terrorist acts
Four Britons pleaded guilty today to planning terrorist attacks, including the placing of bombs at the London Stock Exchange. They admitted to the conspiracy before the London court that has begun reviewing their case.
Radical Islamists Mohammed Chowdhury, Gurukanth Desai, Abdul Miah and Shah Rahman confessed to engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism. They wanted to plant a bomb in the toilets of the London Stock Exchange. Another five Britons from the same group have confessed to less serious crimes.
All of the suspects were arrested in December 2010 in London, in Cardiff (Wales), and in Stoke-on-Trent in central England. The court will hand down its verdict next week.
The defendants, who range in age between 20 and 30, were inspired by the teachings of the extremist Anwar Al-Awlaki. According to media reports, that American citizen of Yemeni origin was linked to the Al-Qaeda network and was killed by the United States last year in Yemen.
During the investigation into the case it came to light that the four men, who had confessed to preparing an attack on the London Stock Exchange, also wanted to mail five bombs to various targets just before Christmas 2010. They allegedly also planned a "Mumbai style" terrorist attack modeled after the Pakistani terrorists who killed 166 people in Mumbai in 2008.
During a search of the apartment of one of the suspects, a list of targets was found that included addresses for Mayor of London Boris Johnson, two rabbis, the US Embassy, and the London Stock Exchange. The whole conspiracy was discovered by a secret anti-terrorist unit before a specific date was established for the attacks.
The conspirators met one another through various radical Islamist groups. They mainly gathered in parks in order to make surveillance of their conversations difficult.