Taliban bomb-maker jailed for 40 years for UK parliament plot

In this file photo taken on April 27, 2017 firearms officers from the British police detain a man, later named as Khalid Mohammed Omar Ali, on Whitehall near the Houses of Parliament in central London. (AFP)
Updated 21 July 2018
0

Taliban bomb-maker jailed for 40 years for UK parliament plot

  • The FBI in the United States subsequently matched his fingerprints to caches of explosives recovered by Afghan forces in 2012
  • The court heard Ali admitted involvement in making explosives in Afghanistan

LONDON: A 28-year-old man was sentenced Friday to a minimum of 40 years in jail for making explosives for the Taliban and for plotting a knife attack at the Houses of Parliament in London.
Khalid Ali, from north London, was dramatically arrested by armed police on a street outside parliament in April 2017 with three blades tucked into his clothes.
He was moments from launching an attack on police, politicians or the military, England’s Old Bailey central criminal court in London heard during his trial last month.
The plumber was on Tuesday found guilty of preparing terrorist acts in Britain and two charges of possessing explosive substances with intent abroad.
On Friday, judge Nicholas Hilliard handed Ali three life sentences, to run concurrently: one for each charge.
He gave a minimum of 40 years for making improvised explosive devices for the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan in 2012 and 25 years for the plot to kill in Britain.
“I am absolutely sure you were in Afghanistan. You were a valued member of a team making IEDs that were detonated in combat before January and July 2012,” Hilliard said.
The judge said the plotted attack in London was designed to attract “maximum publicity and instil terror.”
“I have no doubt whatsoever that there is a very considerable risk of your committing offenses of violence in the future and cause death or serious injury as a result.”
During the trial, prosecutor Brian Altman told jurors that Ali, who had returned to Britain from Afghanistan in late 2016, planned a “deadly terror attack at the very heart of this country’s democracy.”
Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Dean Haydon said he was “an incredibly dangerous individual.”
He had returned from a training camp in Afghanistan “with a determination to kill,” he added.
In police interviews, Ali said he wanted to deliver a “message” to British authorities.
“Jihad is what we do,” he told officers.
During his trial, the court heard Ali admitted involvement in making explosives in Afghanistan, even bragging he detonated more than 300 devices.
In November 2016, he was stopped at Heathrow Airport, interviewed by police and his fingerprints and DNA samples were taken.
The FBI in the United States subsequently matched his fingerprints to caches of explosives recovered by Afghan forces in 2012, and Ali was placed under surveillance in Britain.
The Old Bailey heard he was seen conducting reconnaissance at various sites around London in March and April last year, before making several purchases of knives.
Police moved in to arrest Ali on April 27 not far from Prime Minister Theresa May’s Downing Street office.


Official count shows Widodo reelected as Indonesian leader

Updated 21 May 2019
0

Official count shows Widodo reelected as Indonesian leader

  • Widodo’s challenger for a second time, former general Prabowo Subianto, has refused to accept defeat and declared himself the winner last month
  • Police this month have arrested 31 Islamic militants they say planned to set off bombs during expected street protests against the election result
JAKARTA, Indonesia: The official count from last month’s Indonesian presidential election shows President Joko Widodo won 55.5% of the vote, the Election Commission said Tuesday, securing him a second term.
The formal result from the April 17 election was almost the same as the preliminary “quick count” results drawn from a sample of polling stations on election day.
Widodo’s challenger for a second time, former general Prabowo Subianto, has refused to accept defeat and declared himself the winner last month.
Thousands of police and soldiers are on high alert in the capital Jakarta, anticipating protests from Subianto’s supporters.
Subianto has alleged massive election fraud in the world’s third-largest democracy but hasn’t provided any credible evidence. Votes are counted publicly and the commission posts the tabulation form from each polling station on its website, allowing for independent verification.
Counting was completed just before midnight and the Election Commission announced the results early Tuesday before official witnesses from both campaigns.
“We reject the results of the presidential election,” said Azis Subekti, one of the witnesses for Subianto. “This refusal is a moral responsibility for us to not give up the fight against injustice, fraud, arbitrariness, lies, and any actions that will harm democracy.”
Under Indonesia’s election law, Subianto can dispute the results at the Constitutional Court.
He and members of his campaign team have said they will mobilize “people power” for days of street protests rather than appeal to the court because they don’t believe it will provide justice.
In a video released after results were announced, Subianto again refused to concede defeat but called on supporters to refrain from violence.
Police this month have arrested 31 Islamic militants they say planned to set off bombs during expected street protests against the election result.