Poplar extremist jailed for London Stock Exchange terror plot

A gang of Muslim extremists inspired to launch a deadly UK terror campaign by hate preacher Anjem Choudary were jailed for a total of nearly 95 years today (Thursday).

Lynchpin Mohammed Chowdhury, 21, from Poplar and right-hand man Shah Rahman, 29, from East Ham, planned to plant a bomb in the Stock Exchange and were seen scouting other potential targets including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye.

Chowdhury was handed an extended sentence of 18 years and 8 months with a custodial element of 13 years and eight months today after admitting the offence at Woolwich Crown Court.

Rahman also admitted the offence and was jailed for at least 12 years.

A handwritten hit list containing the names and addresses of Boris Johnson, the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, two rabbis and details about the American Embassy was also found at Chowdhury’s home in Cassills Road.

Members of the gang hoped to launch a co-ordinated shooting and bombing attack on the capital in a “Mumbai-style” atrocity in the run-up to Christmas 2010.

Six of the nine men had been personally taught by former Islam4UK spokesman Choudary, while four were also in contact with convicted terrorists.

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Chowdhury, 26, and Rahman, 29, of St Bernard’s Road, along with others from Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham and Cardiff had admitted engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism, contrary to section 5 (1) of the Terrorism Act 2006.

Sentencing the gang to a total of 94 years and eight months, Mr Justice Wilkie said: “They were attracted to and espoused a radical version of Islam that is rejected by most Muslims in the UK as illegitimate and a perversion of the faith.

“They became attracted to the influence of radical clerics who preached the obligation to become involved in a struggle not only to fight occupiers in Muslim lands but to attack non-Muslims in the UK.

“These views were associated with the radical cleric known as Anwar Al Awlaki, whose message included attacking Western countries by any means necessary.”