ISIS fanatic in court over foiled German terror plot

Fatah Abdullah planned in online chat room a remote-controlled bomb attack in Germany, London court told

An ISIS terrorist who incited a terror cell in Germany to commit a mass atrocity with a car, bomb and meat cleavers faces jail.

Iranian refugee Fatah Abdullah, who was granted asylum after arriving in the UK in 2005, bought explosives and used the encrypted messenger app Telegram to incite two Iranians in Germany to carry out a terror attack.

He encouraged the plotters to drive a car into a crowd, attack people with a meat cleaver and let off an explosion.

Detectives discovered Abdullah had also researched how to make a pressure-cooker bomb relayed the information to his cohorts in Germany, cousins Omar Babek and Ahmed Hussein.

He bought more than 8,000 matches, explosive precursors, fireworks, fuses and a remote-control detonator.

The Central Criminal Court in London was told that ingredients to make gunpowder that Abdullah had obtained were never found, suggesting they had been used.

“After you have set off the explosions, you target crowd or group of people with your car, you drive through them," he said in one message.

“Find a meat clever which is used by butchers, once you have ran them over with the car, get out of the car start attacking them with it.

“If you couldn’t attack them with a car after the explosion, attack them with knife, sword or meat cleaver.

“The aim is that you kill them and make them feel terrified and show them that (ISIS) is here and Islam is here. The most important thing is that you carry out the jihad.”

The terror attack was thwarted in January 2019 when Hussein and Babek were arrested.

Abdullah had been arrested by British police the month before at his home in Newcastle in the North of England.

He initially denied his involvement claiming he had bought sulphur powder to grow flowers, a pocket knife to "cut grass" for his rabbits, a balaclava was for the cold weather and a food mixer was bought to make pizza dough.

An ISIS flag was found at his home and images of terror attacks on UK landmarks were discovered on his phone.

Detectives from the Counter Terrorism Policing North East team discovered voice and video recordings made by Abdullah detailing steps that should be taken to prepare for and conduct the attack.

Abdullah also had content about the 2013 bombing in Boston on his devices and had researched the attack and methods used to harm the victims.

“Mohammed Abdullah incited a terror cell, based in Germany, to commit terrorist atrocities that would have caused mass fatalities," prosecutor Barnaby Jameson told the court.

“His encouragement was not limited to words. He researched, obtained and tested explosives in order to teach the German cell to carry out the terrorist attacks to maximum effect.”

In March Abdullah, 35, pleaded guilty to inciting terrorism overseas and to engaging in conduct in preparation to assist others to commit terrorist acts.

On Monday, Mr Justice Sweeney, told Abdullah he will sentence him on Friday.

“Abdullah had taken very real and significant steps to plan an attack," the head of the counter terrorism team, detective chief superintendent Martin Snowden, said.

"He had purchased vast amounts of matches and fireworks and other component elements to develop an IED. He prepared and tested a detonation system in order to show others how to create and use the system to cause an explosion in Germany and cause significant harm to innocent people.

“While our investigation did not establish the target of a potential attack, Abdullah posed a very real risk. We cannot underestimate the significant harm and loss of life that could have occurred as result of his actions. We’re grateful we were able to disrupt these plans before there was the opportunity to see them through.”

Mr Jameson said the men in Germany went on to attempt to obtain a gun and gather components for an improvised explosive device.

Last year a court in Hamburg found that their plot failed because they "lacked the financial means" to carry it out.

Hussein and Babek pleaded guilty to the preparation of a serious act of violent subversion involving unlawful handling of explosive substances and were sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.

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