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London man who made bombs for the Taliban convicted of terror offences

Ali was arrested by armed police near the Houses of Parliament in London on 27 April 2017.

Khalid Ali
Khalid Ali
Image: Met Police

A LONDON MAN who plotted a terror attack near the Houses of Parliament and made bombs for the Taliban in Afghanistan has been convicted of terror offences.

A jury at the Old Bailey found Khalid Ali (28), of north London, guilty of preparation of a terrorist act – namely plotting to carry out a violent attack on police offices, MPs or military personnel in London – and two counts of making an explosive substance after his fingerprints were found on bomb components in Afghanistan made by the Taliban.

Ali was arrested by armed police near the House of Parliament in London on 27 April 2017. He was carrying a knife with an eight-inch clade and two smaller knives at the time of his arrest.

He was questioned by officers after his arrest in April last year. He claimed he had come to deliver a message to those in power and that the knives were for his own protection.

The prosecution told the jury at the Old Bailey that Ali’s intention was to kill a police officer, a member of the armed forces or even a Member of Parliament in response to what he saw as Western aggression against Muslims around the world.

Planned attacks

Five days before he was stopped, Ali visited high profile places such as Vauxhall Cross, where the MI6 building is located, Westminister Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and Whitehall.

He also searched online for images of police officers wearing stab-proof vests. The prosecution said this was to target unprotected areas of the body during his attack.

Ali’s fingerprints matched those found on bomb-making components recovered in Afghanistan in 2012 and held on an FBI database. Some of the prints were on the sticky side of adhesive tape used in their manufacture which the prosecution argued indicated he had made the devices and was not merely handling them.

In a police interview, Ali boasted about how he had detonated more than 300 bombs. However, he backtracked on his comments.

The court heard how Ali left the UK in 2011 and spent time in Pakistan and Afghanistan where he joined the Taliban and became a bombmaker. He claimed he had gone to the region to learn more about Islam and go hiking in the mountains.

Ali returned to the UK in November 2016 without his passport, which he claimed he had lost in Turkey and had to travel using emergency documents provided by the British Consulate.

He later gave the impression that he had returned to his former life training and working as a gas fitter and plumber. However, by March 2017 he was planning a terror attack in London, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

“Khalid Ali planned to carry out a vicious attack in London that could have injured many and endangered life. He also boasted of working as a Taliban bombmaker in Afghanistan targetting US-led forces as well as Afghan security personnel,” Sum Hemming of the CPS said.

“The jury agreed with the prosecution that he was engaged in terrorist acts at home and abroad and he is clearly a danger to the public in this country and elsewhere.”

Ali will be sentenced at a later date.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.

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