IS fanatic incited car, bomb and meat cleaver attack in Germany, court told

An Islamic State-inspired fanatic incited a terror cell in Germany to commit a mass casualty attack with a car, bomb and meat cleaver, a court has heard.

Fatah Abdullah, from of Arthur’s Hill in Newcastle, set about learning how to make a pressure cooker bomb to relay the information to continental conspirators Omar Babek and Ahmed Hussein.

He bought more than 8,000 matches, explosive pre-cursors, fireworks, fuses and a remote control detonator, the Old Bailey heard.

The court heard that ingredients to make gunpowder that Abdullah had obtained were never found, suggesting they had been used.

In encrypted chat on Telegram, the defendant encouraged the plotters in Germany to drive a car into a crowd, attack people with a meat cleaver and cause an explosion.

In one message, he said: “After you have set off the explosions, you target crowd or group of people with your car, you drive through them.

“Find a meat clever which is used by butchers, once you have ran them over with the car, get out of the car start attacking them with it.

“If you couldn’t attack them with a car after the explosion, attack them with knife, sword or meat cleaver.

“The aim is that you kill them and make them feel terrified and show them that (Islamic State),  is here and Islam is here. The most important thing is that you carry out the jihad.”

The murderous plan was foiled in January last year when Hussein and Babek were arrested, the court was told.

Abdullah had been arrested by British police the month before.

He denied being involved in planning an imminent attack and attempted to explain away items at his flat.

He claimed he bought a pocket knife on Amazon to cut grass for his rabbits.

A food mixer from eBay was bought to make pizza dough, and an SAS-style balaclava was for when it was cold, he said.

Abdullah also told police that 200g of sulphur powder was for growing flowers and denied knowing about its use in the production of gunpowder, the court heard.

In March, Abdullah, 35, pleaded guilty to inciting terrorism overseas and engaging in conduct in preparation to assist others to commit terrorist acts.

Opening the facts of the case on Monday, prosecutor Barnaby Jameson QC said: “Mohammed Abdullah incited a terror cell, based in Germany, to commit terrorist atrocities that would have caused mass fatalities.

“His encouragement was not limited to words. He researched, obtained and tested explosives in order to teach the German cell to carry out the terrorist attacks to maximum effect.”

Iranian-born Abdullah successfully sought asylum in the UK after arriving in 2005.

The defendant suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and became radicalised.

He had a black IS flag at his flat and a large amount of grisly propaganda videos on his phone, the court heard.

Images included animations of lorries exploding in well known UK landmarks, the court heard.

In a handwritten note, he wrote: “We will slaughter you as you did to us. We will chop you to pieces as you did to us.”

Mr Barnaby said Abdullah somehow became connected with cousins Hussein and Babek, who had sought asylum in Germany after travelling from Iraq in 2015.

The men in Germany went on to attempt to get a gun and gather components for an improvised explosive device, the court heard.

Following their arrest, a court in Hamburg found that “the acquisition of a firearm, like the attempt to purchase a pressure cooker or larger quantities of individual components of black powder or fireworks, ultimately failed because the defendants lacked the financial means required for this.

“Until the very end, the defendants were determined to implement their proposed plan in a place in Germany that was highly frequented by people.”

Hussein and Babek pleaded guilty to the preparation of a serious act of violent subversion involving unlawful handling of explosive substances and were sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.

Abdullah is expected to be sentenced at the Old Bailey later.

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