The London Stock Exchange plot

Four young men from London and Cardiff planned bomb attacks on targets including the London Stock Exchange, Parliament, the US embassy and the Mayor of London.
Three other men from Stoke were planning a further wave of attacks once they had travelled abroad for more training. Two other men were also linked to the plots.
Yesterday all nine men, of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin, pleaded guilty to a series of terrorist-related offences at Woolwich Crown Court.
It followed months of surveillance by MI5 officers, who had watched the men develop from fringe radicals into terrorists who posed a grave threat to national security.
MI5’s investigation into the London Stock Exchange bombers began with surveillance on a group of Muslim rabble rousers in Stoke-on-Trent.
By 2009, the men had become well-known in the town amid heated tensions between Muslim extremists and the Right-wing English Defence League, handing out leaflets and filming each other on mobile phones as they burned poppies.
The protests alone, however, were no longer enough. The group had become followers of Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni preacher whose background living in the US and Britain had helped him gain a huge following in the West. With the publication of the slick English-language Inspire magazine in 2010, he took to inspiring others to adopt what the intelligence community call a “just do it” approach to terrorism, instead of plotting elaborate attacks.
The magazine included bomb-making instructions labelled: “How to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom” by the “Al-Qaeda chef”.
The group in Stoke soon contacted other radicals in London and Cardiff on Paltalk, an internet messaging service. The groups found they had common ground, and decided to meet.
The Boating Lake
On Nov 7, 2010, Mohammed Chowdhury, a member of the London cell, travelled from London to Cardiff by coach on a day return ticket. He took a USB stick filled with jihadi material.
That morning Mohammed Shahjahan from Stoke picked up his friends Usman Khan and Mohibur Rahman in his red Volkswagen Golf and headed down the M6 towards Wales. They met Abdul Miah and Gurukanth Desai, brothers from Cardiff, and their friend Omar Latif at Roath Park Lake, a Victorian boating lake.
For the next three and a half hours the men were watched as they took part in prayers and talks in an area surrounded by bushes and trees. This, investigators believe, was an “introductory meeting” at which they discussed their ideology.
The London plot
A few weeks later, on Nov 28, Miah and Desai left Miah’s home in Ninian Park Road, Cardiff at about 8.20am, heading for London.
In the car they listened to a lecture by the al-Qaeda preacher, Anwar al-Awlaki, and discussed the practicalities of carrying out an explosive attack. As they passed through an area bombed in the Second World War, Desai said Muslims fought alongside Hitler who “knew the Jews were dangerous” and quoted Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda.
In London they met Chowdhury, and were introduced to his friend, Shah Rahman. On their journey the four men discussed their ideology and plans for a terrorist attack in London. They said they planned to place five letter bombs in the post before Christmas and leave a device with a one-hour timer with DHL.
Chowdhury and Rahman subsequently travelled by bus into the city centre, touring sites between 3.30pm and 9.30pm. They got off the bus in Trafalgar Square and walked along Whitehall towards Westminster. They were observed looking at Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Blackfriars Bridge and the Church of Scientology in Queen Victoria Street.
After visiting a McDonalds restaurant in Cannon Street, Chowdhury and Rahman boarded a bus back towards east London.
On their return to Cardiff, Miah and Desai were seen looking at components for a bomb and talking about constructing a pipe bomb.
The pair visited the New Foundations Cosmetics and Toiletries shop and discussed buying a clock or watch. Desai talked about an explosive device with flour, battery and wires.
A Mumbai-style attack
On Dec 4, Miah called Chowdhury at 8.38pm and expressed his concerns about rushing the plan, comparing it to the time taken to plan and execute the 9/11 attacks. He emphasised that if one of them was caught, “everything is finished”.
In the early hours of Dec 12, Chowdhury took a coach to Cardiff. He was collected by Miah, who told him that they were “brothers” planning a Mumbai-style attack. They were being so careful about speaking openly, that at one point, they struggled to understand each other. They also discussed Chowdhury’s research of targets, including the London Stock Exchange.
The three men met the Stoke gang — Shahjahan, Hussain and Khan — at Cwm Carn Country Park near Newport. The men prayed together, led by Shahjahan, and then huddled in a group and spent an hour in discussion. At around 1pm they were seen standing in a circle, talking and reading from pieces of paper. Afterwards the Stoke group discussed getting training and agreed their main asset was “the Pakistani link”. Hussain said it was good that Chowdhury was calling Shahjahan the “emir” [leader].
Chowdhury boarded a bus back to London at about 6pm, arriving three and a half hours later. On the journey he was seen looking at a folded piece of paper, thought to be a list of targets that was found at his home.
At Khan’s home in Persia Walk, Stoke, on Dec 14, he was joined by Rahman and Shahjahan who discussed attacking pubs and clubs in the Stoke area by leaving devices in the lavatories.
On Dec 18 Miah said his motives were to “crumble the economy, destroy the infrastructure not just physically but mentally everything”. He said the covenant by which Muslims agree not to attack the state in which they live did not stand according to Islamic law.
By Dec 19, security services decided they could not wait and the three groups were arrested the following day. Police raided Chowdhury’s London home and discovered the list of terrorist targets.
Þ Mohammed Chowdhury, 21 and Shah Rahman, 29, from London, pleaded guilty to taking part in the London Stock Exchange plot alongside Abdul Miah, 25, and his brother Gurukanth Desai, 30. Omar Latif, 28, also from Cardiff, pleaded guilty to attending meetings with the intention of assisting others to prepare or commit acts of terrorism.
Mohibur Rahman, 27, from Stoke, pleaded guilty to possession of a document containing information useful to a person preparing an act of terrorism. The charges relate to three editions of al-Qaeda’s English language Inspire magazine.
Usman Khan, 20, Mohammed Shahjahan, 27, and Nazam Hussain, 26, all from Stoke, pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism.

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