Saturday, July 25, 2015

Luton man 'who planned to kill US airman like Lee Rigby' and his uncle 'who wanted to be an ISIS suicide bomber' appear in court

  • Junead Ahmed Khan, 24, charged with intending to commit terrorist acts
  • Also accused alongside uncle of planning to travel to Syria to join ISIS
  • Men from Luton to both appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court today
  • Charges follow probe by Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command
A delivery driver appeared in court yesterday charged with planning to kill American airmen at British bases in a Lee Rigby-style terror attack.

Junead Khan, 24, allegedly planned to run over US personnel in his car before killing them with a knife or blowing himself up.

Khan is also accused of planning to travel to Syria to join Islamic State with his uncle Shazib Khan, 22. 

In court: Shazib Ahmed Khan (left), 22, and Junead Ahmed Khan (right), 24, were at Westminster Magistrates' Court this afternoon (court sketch above) wearing prison-issued grey uniforms for a 15-minute hearing
In court: Shazib Ahmed Khan (left), 22, and Junead Ahmed Khan (right), 24, were at Westminster Magistrates' Court this afternoon (court sketch above) wearing prison-issued grey uniforms for a 15-minute hearing

The pair, from Luton, were arrested last week and appeared in the dock at Westminster magistrates’ court yesterday.

Junead Khan is charged with two counts of preparing acts of terrorism and his uncle is charged with one count of the same offence.

He had worked as a delivery driver since May for TRG Logistics, which works with medical supplies group Alliance Healthcare.

He is accused of checking out the RAF bases at Mildenhall and Lakenheath in Suffolk and Feltwell in Norfolk in the weeks before his arrest.

‘From messaging recovered from his phone it seemed the attack was to take the form of a staged road traffic accident,’ prosecutors allege.

‘It would force American occupants out of their vehicle where they were to be subjected to an attack, in a similar vein to that perpetrated on Lee Rigby which resulted in his death.

‘The attack was possibly to include or to be supported by the deployment of an improvised explosive device that could be detonated as a suicide bomb.’

After counter-terrorism police arrested Junead at the Letchworth depot of Alliance Healthcare they allegedly found a copy of a document titled a ‘brief guide to the Islamic State’.

Officers are said to have found messages between Junead and an unknown person discussing how to get bomb-making instructions from the ‘dark web’.

A nine-page document on making a ‘pressure cooker backpack bomb with switch detonator’ was allegedly found on his phone.

An expert from the Forensic Explosives Laboratory told police that the instructions were sufficient to construct a viable bomb, the court heard.

Other items allegedly found on his phone included an image of Junead with the black IS flag and images of fighters alongside similar flags.

Outlining the case in court, prosecutor Mark Dawson said Junead was offered the addresses of British military personnel by an informant, but he allegedly said he preferred ‘American personnel’.

Junead and Shazib were said to have spent months planning to travel to Syria to join IS.
Mr Dawson added: ‘Communication between Junead Khan and persons in Islamic State express a desire to travel to Syria and preparing properly to do so. 

There is talk of purchasing combat trousers.’

At the end of the 15-minute court hearing the two defendants were remanded into custody. They will appear at the Old Bailey on August 10.

Deborah Walsh, deputy head of counter terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: ‘Following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service’s SO15 [counter terrorism unit], 

we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge Junead Khan and Shazib Khan with the intention of committing acts of terrorism.

‘It is alleged that Junead Khan and Shazib Khan had been planning on travelling to Syria to join the proscribed organisation Islamic State in Levant (ISIL).

‘It is further alleged that Junead Khan was planning a terrorist attack on US military personnel in the UK and he has been charged with an additional terrorism offence to reflect this.’

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