UK couple radicalised online accused of planning to attack Jewish targets

Those who doubt the seriousness of online radicalisation have questions to answer as Mohammed and Shasta Khan appear before Manchester crown court

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Manchester Synagogue window
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Robin Simcox
On 21 June 2012 11:36

Manchester crown court is currently hearing a trial against a husband and wife accused of planning attacks against Jewish targets in Manchester.

The court heard that Mohammed and Shasta Khan – who met online – bought substances from supermarkets required to assemble an IED. They are also accused of carrying out surveillance on potential Jewish targets.

The pair were said in court to be radicalised online in 2010 and 2011 – and it comes as no surprise to learn that the court heard ‘Inspire’, al-Qaeda’s English speaking magazine, was instrumental. The London Stock Exchange bombers were also big fans of the magazine, which was compiled by the American jihadist Samir Khan, killed in Yemen last year by the same drone strike that targeted Anwar al-Awlaki.

Neither appears to have been on the Security Service or police radar. Instead, a minor domestic row led to the police being called to their home, with Shasta’s brothers telling the police that they believed her husband to be a ‘terrorist’. Shasta Khan began to tell the police incriminating information about her husband, and Mohammed has already pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to terrorism related offences. However, according to the prosecutor, Shasta ‘left out of her account entirely her own involvement. It was her intention to cause serious trouble for her husband, but she had given no thought to the possible consequences for herself.’

The case continues, and is expected to last three weeks.

Robin Simcox is a Research Fellow at The Henry Jackson Society, a British-based foreign policy think tank. This post is cross-posted on 'The Scoop' by agreement

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