Terrorist rants in court as judge increases jail term after sentencing 'error'

A terrorist who plotted a bomb or ricin attack ranted in the dock after a judge increased his jail term to at least 21 years following a sentencing "error".

Sudanese asylum seeker Munir Mohammed had pledged to carry out a "lone wolf" mission in a Facebook chat with an Islamic State commander.

As part of his preparations he sought out pharmacist Rowaida El-Hassan through the SingleMuslim.com dating website and used her know-how to assemble ingredients for a bomb.

When he was arrested 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.

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

Terrorism court case
Rowaida El-Hassan was sentenced to 12 years in jail (Counter Terrorism Policing North East/PA)

Judge Michael Topolski QC had sentenced Mohammed to life with a minimum of 14 years and handed El-Hassan to 12 years plus five years on extended licence.

The case returned to the Old Bailey on Wednesday under the "slip rule" to correct the sentence for Mohammed.

Raising the minimum term to 21 years, Judge Topolski apologised for making an error.

He told the court that, in the wake of the sentencing on February 22, he had received a note from the prosecution querying his decision on Mohammed.

For a "level two" offence of preparing acts of terrorism, recent guidance has set the range of between 21 and 30 years for a life sentence.

He said: "It follows that the route I took in arriving at the minimum term of 14 years was not the correct one as it did not follow the guidance.

"I am satisfied I made a material error in sentencing, for which I apologise."

Terrorism court case
Munir Mohammed is captured on CCTV at Asda where he bought the wrong type of nail varnish remover to make explosives (Counter Terrorism Policing North East/PA)

The judge said it was "appropriate" to correct the minimum term, taking into account all the circumstances of the case and the "impact" on the defendant.

Speaking halting English in the dock, Mohammed angrily ranted for some minutes before the judge called a halt to the hearing.

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