A couple who met on a Muslim dating site were jailed on Thursday for plotting Islamic State-inspired bomb attacks in the UK.
Munir Hassan Mohammed, 37, was sentenced to life imprisonment, and Rowaida El-Hassan, 33, was jailed for 12 years. The couple shared ISIS beheading clips on WhatsApp during the courtship.
Mohammed, assisted by pharmacist El-Hassan, managed to procure key chemicals used for making triacetone triperoxide (TATP), an explosive used by ISIS in previous terror attacks in France and Belgium. He also downloaded information on how to make the deadly toxin ricin.
According to the investigators, the couple was planning a bomb or ricin attack over the Christmas holidays.
British newspaper Independent reported the details of the court judgment:
A couple who planned an Isis-inspired terror attack in the UK after meeting on a dating website have been jailed.
Munir Mohammed was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 14 years, while accomplice Rowaida El-Hassan was jailed for 12 years and five more under licence conditions.
Security services feared Mohammed and pharmacist El-Hassan were ready to strike before they were detained.
Mohammed, a 37-year-old Sudanese refugee, had already amassed two out of three core components for triacetone triperoxide (TATP), the powerful explosive used in Isis attacks including Paris and Brussels.
He had also downloaded a manual on how to make ricin, a deadly poison that can kill an adult victim with just a few grains. (...)
El-Hassan, a 33-year-old divorcee with two children, became a willing participant in the plot after meeting Mohammed on dating website SingleMuslim.com.
She had advertised “for a simple, very simple, honest and straightforward man who fears Allah” who she could “vibe with on a spiritual and intellectual level”.
Mohammad pledged allegiance to the suspected ISIS commander Abubakr Kurdi and offered to undertake “a new job in the UK” on behalf of the Islamist terror group while enjoying the refugee status in the country.
Despite recent territorial setbacks in the Middle East, ISIS continues to recruit jihadis in the UK. According to the UK Security Minister Ben Wallace, ISIS recruiters were operating on college campuses across the country.
British Security services estimate the number of Islamists residing in the country to be around 35,000. More than 400 battle-hardened ISIS war criminals have also returned to the country, fleeing the eminent collapse of the Islamic caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Going by these numbers, there might be several other ticking time bombs like Mohammed and El-Hassan running around the UK.