Islamists admit terror plot charges
Four radical Islamists have admitted plotting a major pre-Christmas terror attack on the London Stock Exchange.
The al Qaida-inspired fundamentalist group wanted to send five mail bombs to various targets over the 2010 festive period, and discussed launching a "Mumbai-style" atrocity.
A hand-written target list found at one of the defendant's homes listed the names and addresses of London Mayor Boris Johnson, two rabbis, the American Embassy and the Stock Exchange.
A total of nine men admitted various terror offences at Woolwich Crown Court and will be sentenced next week.
"Lynchpin" Mohammed Chowdhury, 21, and his London accomplice Shah Rahman, 28, were followed by undercover detectives on November 28, 2010, observing Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and the Palace of Westminster.
The conspiracy also involved three defendants from Cardiff and four from Stoke. It was stopped by undercover anti-terror police before firm dates could be set for attacks.
The terrorists met through their membership of various hardcore Islamic groups and met at specially arranged meetings held in parks in a bid to make surveillance difficult.
The nine, all British nationals, were due to stand trial but changed their pleas at the last minute. Chowdhury, of Stanliff House, Tower Hamlets, and Rahman, 28, of St Bernard's Road, Newham, admitted preparing for acts of terrorism by planning to plant an improvised explosive device (IED) in the toilets of the London Stock Exchange. Brothers Gurukanth Desai, 30, of Albert Street, and Abdul Miah, 25, of Ninian Park Road, both Cardiff, also admitted the same count.
Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC told a jury, which had been sworn in but was discharged after the pleas, that the four involved in the Stock Exchange plot had not intended to maim and kill. "Their intention was to cause terror and economic harm and disruption. But their chosen method meant there was a risk people would be maimed or killed."
Usman Khan, 20, of Persia Walk, Mohammed Shahjahan 27, of Burmarsh Walk, and Nazam Hussain, 26, of Grove Street, all Stoke, admitted engaging in the preparation of terrorism by attending operational meetings in Roath Park, Cardiff, on November 7 and in a Newport country park on December 12. Omar Latif, 28, of Neville Street, Cardiff, admitted attending the meetings with the intention of assisting others to prepare or commit acts of terrorism. The fourth Stoke defendant, Mohibur Rahman, admitted possessing an article for a terrorist purpose on December 20, 2010.