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Jakarta Post

Would-be British terror couple met on dating site

  • News Desk


London   /   Tue, October 31, 2017   /   01:39 am
Would-be British terror couple met on dating site Police officers stand guard at a police cordon next to Buckingham Palace following an incident where a man armed with a knife was arrested outside the palace following a disturbance in London on August 26, 2017. (Agence France-Presse/Chris J. Ratcliffe)

A UK man who was preparing a bomb for an Islamic State-inspired attack in Britain was helped by a pharmacist he met through an online dating site, a prosecutor said at their trial on Monday.

Munir Mohammed met Rowaida El-Hassan on, where her profile said she was seeking a "very simple, honest and straightforward man who fears Allah before anything else."

The pair, both of Sudanese origin, allegedly "rapidly formed emotional attachment and a shared ideology," according to prosecutor Anne Whyte.

"This is a case which reflects the age in which we live. It demonstrates the relative ease with which acts of terrorism can be prepared, thanks to the internet.

"The prosecution allege that Munir Mohammed had resolved upon a lone wolf attack and that Rowaida El-Hassan was aware of his engagement with such a plan," Whyte said.

At the time of his arrest, Mohammed allegedly had two of the three ingredients needed for a bomb as well as instruction manuals on how to prepare explosives, mobile phone detonators and ricin.

Mohammed, 36, and El-Hassan, 33, are accused of preparing terrorist acts between November 2015 and December 2016.

Both deny the charge.

"El-Hassan had a professional knowledge of chemicals because of her professional training and qualifications," Whyte said.

"She assisted Mohammed by providing him with information about chemical components required for bomb-making and how to source them and she assisted his online research about the manufacture of ricin using castor beans.

"In doing so she supported him in his engagement with attack planning."

The prosecutor said Mohammed had also been in contact with a man he believed was an Islamic State group commander on Facebook and had volunteered for "a new job in the UK" -- allegedly an attack. (dmr)