6 jailed in UK for plot to attack far-right rally
LONDON (AP) — Six British men inspired by Islamic extremist material were sentenced Monday to almost 20 years in prison each for plotting a bomb and gun attack on a far-right rally a year ago.
The men, from the Birmingham area of central England, had earlier pleaded guilty at London’s Central Criminal Court to planning an attack on the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim English Defense League.
The plot failed when they arrived after the rally had ended. They were caught by chance after a car was impounded for insurance violation. The vehicle contained guns, a homemade bomb and other weapons.
Judge Nicholas Hilliard said the suspects had intended to cause serious injuries and possibly deaths.
He said the men had immersed themselves in a “tide of apparently freely available extremist material.”
Hilliard sentenced Omar Mohammed Khan, 31; Jewel Uddin, 27; and 22-year-old Zohaib Ahmed to 19 years and six months in prison.
Mohammed Hasseen, 24; Anzal Hussain, 25; and Mohammed Saud, 23, each received 18 years and nine months.
As the sentencing hearing ended, English Defense League leader Tommy Robinson and his deputy Kevin Carroll called out “God save the Queen” from the public gallery, as supporters of the defendants shouted “Allahu Akbar.”
The judge said he was aware members of the EDL used Islamophobic obscenities and caused anxiety among Muslims.
“I acknowledge the unrest and enormous distress such behavior gives rise to,” he said. “But as a response, more unlawful violence is not on the list of options.”