Taliban bomb-maker convicted of UK terrorism plot against MPs, police

During the trial of Khalid Ali, prosecutors said only the intervention of armed officers prevented a "murderous assault on politicians, police or the military." (AFP/Getty)
Updated 26 June 2018
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Taliban bomb-maker convicted of UK terrorism plot against MPs, police

LONDON: A British man who had made bombs for the Taliban in Afghanistan and was plotting an attack near London’s parliament was convicted of terrorism offenses on Tuesday.
Khalid Ali was carrying three knives when he was arrested by armed police in April last year.
Only just over a month earlier, a British-born convert to Islam had plowed a car into pedestrians on nearby Westminster Bridge, killing four people, before stabbing a policeman to death in the grounds of parliament.
The Old Bailey court heard Ali, 28, had intended to kill a police officer, a member of the armed forces or even a Member of Parliament, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
Five days before he was stopped, Ali visited potential targets such as Westminster Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and Whitehall.
His fingerprints matched those found on bomb-making components recovered in Afghanistan in 2012 and held on an FBI database, the CPS said in a statement.
Some of the prints were on the sticky side of adhesive tape used in their manufacture which the prosecution argued indicated he had made the devices and was not merely handling them.
The court heard Ali had left Britain in 2011 and spent time in Pakistan and Afghanistan where he joined the Taliban and became a bomb-maker. He claimed he had gone to the region to learn more about Islam and go hiking in the mountains.
Ali returned to Britain in 2016 and gave the impression that he had returned to his former life training and working as a gas fitter and plumber but by March 2017 he was planning a terror attack in London.
“Khalid Ali planned to carry out a vicious knife attack in London that could have injured many and endangered life,” said Sue Hemming from the CPS.
He will be sentenced at a later date.


13 under arrest for Sri Lanka blasts: police

Sri Lankan security personnel keep watch outside the church premises following a blast at the St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 22 April 2019
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13 under arrest for Sri Lanka blasts: police

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan police have arrested 13 men in connection with bomb blasts on churches and hotels that killed more than 200 people, officials said Monday.
Authorities have not made public details on those held after Sunday’s attacks. But a police source told AFP the 13 were detained at two locations in and around Colombo.
The source said the 13 men are from the same radical group.
At least two of the eight attacks were carried out by suicide bombers, according to police and other sources, and three police were killed when another suicide bomber detonated explosives during a raid on a house where suspects were.