UK

EDL Rally Attack Plot 'A Reaction To Calculated Insults Of Islam' Court Hears

07/06/2013 13:55 BST | Updated 07/06/2013 13:56 BST

Plans for a deadly attack on an English Defence League 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 on Friday.

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.

edl bomb plot trial

Jewel Uddin, 27, Omar Mohammed Khan, 31, Mohammed Hasseen, 24, Anzal Hussain, 25, Mohammed Saud, 23, and Zohaib Ahmed, 22

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 today's hearing from the public gallery of the court.

On Thursday the pair said they wanted to see justice done, as they gathered outside the Old Bailey with a group of supporters.

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.

edl old bailey

The EDL have become increasingly vocal since the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby

The nail bomb was an 18-inch rocket stuffed with shrapnel and was to be powered by explosives taken from at least two large fireworks.

As mitigation began in the sentencing of the six men, Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC was given a disc containing video clips of EDL members shouting "Allah, Allah, who the f*** is Allah?", claiming that the prophet Mohammed was a paedophile and chanting about burning down mosques.

edl old bailey

EDL supporters outside the Old Bailey earlier this week

Mr Bennathan said the bloody 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.

Danny Friedman QC, for Hasseen, said the men had worked themselves up into "a very great state of fear" in the run-up to the planned atrocity.

He told the court: "It would be wrong to say that the fear and anger that these men and others felt towards the EDL was completely irrational and unfounded."

Mr Friedman said the group had been drawn to radical Islamic ideology as a reaction to the fear that they felt.

He said: "Young men reach to ideology to explain away fear and loathing about their communities being attacked and that's what we submit happened here."

Hasseen has also admitted possessing a document or record containing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.