EDL attack planned 'after insults'
A deadly planned attack on an English Defence League (EDL) rally was a reaction to the far-right group's "calculated insults" of Islam, a court has heard.
Sentencing of six Islamic extremists who hatched a murderous plot to target the gathering in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, last summer continued at the Old Bailey.
Jewel Uddin, 27, Omar Mohammed Khan, 31, Mohammed Hasseen, 24, Anzal Hussain, 25, Mohammed Saud, 23, and Zohaib Ahmed, 22, who are all from the West Midlands, admitted planning the attack at a hearing on April 30.
Joel Bennathan QC, for Khan, said the men's plan was a " reaction to the activity of the EDL". He said: "The EDL stage rallies in what they perceive, rightly, to be areas with large Muslim populations. They are intimidating when they do so.
"They are obviously and very deliberately insulting to any Muslims. One doesn't need a degree in theology to have spotted the fact that to a Muslim a personal insult to the Prophet Mohammed is a very serious matter. They are intimidating, they are insulting and they are provocative."
EDL leader Tommy Robinson and his deputy Kevin Carroll watched the beginning of the hearing from the public gallery of the court.
All of the men except Hasseen travelled to Dewsbury on June 30 last year but arrived at around 4pm when the EDL event had finished earlier than expected at 2pm. They were armed with two shotguns, swords, knives, a nail bomb containing 458 pieces of shrapnel and a partially-assembled pipe bomb.
Mr Bennathan said the plot was "an undoubtedly domestic bit of planned violence, with young British men reacting to the calculated insults of other young British men".
He said: " For community relations, it is a hugely good thing that nothing happened that day. Because any attempted violence against the EDL would have led not to Muslim young men who want to physically engage being retaliated against, but mosques, women and children being attacked in supposed retaliation for this."
He insisted that the group were amateurs and that was why they had arrived at the rally two hours late.