Internet dating couple jailed for plotting IS attack in Britain

A lonely hearts couple have been jailed for plotting an Islamic State-inspired bomb or ricin attack over the Christmas holidays.

Sudanese asylum seeker Munir Mohammed volunteered for a "lone wolf" UK mission in a Facebook chat with an IS commander.

He enlisted pharmacist Rowaida El-Hassan to help find ingredients for a bomb after seeking her out on dating website SingleMuslim.com.

At the time of his arrest in December 2016, Mohammed had two of the three components for TATP explosives as well as manuals on how to make bombs and ricin poison.

Terrorism court case
Pharmacist Rowaida El-Hassan was found guilty at the Old Bailey of plotting 'devastating' carnage over Christmas with an IS-inspired bomb or ricin attack (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Mohammed, 37, of Leopold Street, Derby, and mother-of-two El-Hassan, 33, of Willesden Lane, north-west London, were found guilty of preparing terrorist acts between November 2015 and December 2016.

Judge Michael Topolski QC sentenced Mohammed to life with a minimum of 14 years.

Terrorism court case
Munir Mohammed planned a 'lone wolf' attack on Britain with the help of a pharmacist he met on a Muslim dating site (Metropolitan Police/PA)

El-Hassan was jailed at the Old Bailey for 12 years plus five years on extended licence.

The judge highlighted Mohammed's "vast store" of IS propaganda depicting the "abhorrent" acts of murder, including nearly 26,000 images on his phone.

El-Hassan never objected to being sent the material as her two children slept in her bedroom, and even asked for more, the judge said.

Even though Mohammed introduced extremism in their relationship, El-Hassan "embraced it and became more and more absorbed by it to the point she became an enthusiastic and encouraging partner", he said.

Terrorism court case
Bungling would-be bomber Munir Mohammed was captured on CCTV at Asda buying the wrong type of nail varnish remover to make explosives (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Judge Topolski told Mohammed: "You decided that yours would be a lone wolf attack. You decided the means of your attack would involve you making an IED.

"You had not decided whether that would be made with an ordinary bomb or whether you could do more damage and more terror by exploding a device containing ricin."

He "carefully and deliberately drew El-Hassan in to the point where her commitment was "consistent and sustained", the judge said.

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