UK couple who swapped violent messages guilty of attack plot
Oct. 26, 2017
LONDON (AP) — A young husband and wife who traded phone messages about carrying out beheadings have been convicted of plotting an attack in Britain.
A jury in London convicted Madihah Taheer on Thursday of preparing an act of terrorism. Her husband, Ummariyat Mirza, pleaded guilty to the same charge at an earlier hearing.
Prosecutors said the couple, both 21 and from Birmingham in central England, were inspired by the Islamic State group. They had bought a hunting knife to carry out an attack, as well as a training dummy that Mirza used to practice on.
Jurors at their trial were shown messages including one Taheer sent Mirza in 2015 reading: "Can we get married already ... I want u to kill ppl for me. I have a list."
In another message Taheer said she dreamed of killing right-wing newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins. Mirza said he wanted to behead Paul Golding, leader of far-right group Britain First.
Detective Chief Superintendent Matt Ward, head of the West Midlands Counterterrorist Unit, said the attack plan was "escalating quickly" when police arrested Mirza in March. His wife was detained shortly afterwards.
He said the couple "were planning to carry out an attack in the U.K. It is not known where this attack would have been, but we discovered research into potential targets, including military sites in the area."
The couple will be sentenced Dec. 1 along with Mirza's sister, who admitted sending her brother extremist videos.