Two Convicted of Shepherd’s Bush Terror Plot
ISIS supporting medical student planned to attack police station and army barracks
Two men have been convicted of planning to launch terrorist attacks on Shepherd’s Bush police station and the army barracks in South African Road.
The mastermind of the plot, 22-year-old medical student Tarik Hassane had pledged his allegiance to ISIS and continued with the scheme even after the arrest of his accomplices.
Hassane of Princess Alice House, Dalgarno Way, W10 and Suhaib Majeed, aged of Cherwell House, Church Street Estate, NW8 were found guilty of conspiring to commit a terrorist murder following an investigation by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.
Police surveillance footage of Majeed and Hassane
Two other men, Nyall Hamlett, aged 25 of Hanwell House, Great Western Road, W2 and Nathan Cuffy, aged 26 of Sandbourne House, Dartmouth Close, W11 pleaded guilty to firearms offences. They were found not guilty of conspiring to commit a terrorist murder.
Police interview with Tarik Hassane
Close friends Majeed and Hassane intended to target the two buildings and members of the public and then make their escape on a moped. They were the central figures in the plot, researching and planning their attack using coded communications. The court heard that Hamlett was the conduit, and Cuffy the armourer who supplied the gun from the stash of five firearms he had hidden in his house.
Police surveillance footage of Majeed in park
The evidence uncovered by the Counter Terrorism Command’s investigation showed that Hassane was the leader of the group, and, having pledged an oath of allegiance to IS on 9 July 2014, was determined to carry out a terrorist attack in the UK.
Majeed, Hamlet and Cuffy were arrested between 24 and 26 September 2014. During these arrests and searches of their home addresses, police recovered five firearms and ammunition. One of these firearms, a Baikal pistol, had both a silencer and ammunition and was intended for use in the plot.
Hassane, known to his friends as ‘The Surgeon’, was studying in the Sudan when his accomplices were arrested, but returned home to the UK on 30 September 2014, still intent on his attack plan. He continued to conduct online research of Shepherd’s Bush Police Station and the Parachute Regiment Territorial Army (TA) Centre in White City using Google Maps. He was arrested on 7 October 2014.
Territorial Army Barracks, South Africa Road
Shepherd's Bush Police Station
Following the arrests, police uncovered the full extent of the planned plot. Searches of addresses led to officers seizing hundreds of communication and storage devices. Extensive examination of these identified key devices that included two iPads, a memory card, three USB sticks, two laptops, an external hard drive and seven phones. These showed the group had been using various social media platforms across the devices with applications specifically downloaded to avoid detection.
Hassane interviewed about planning the attacks
Majeed downloaded encrypted software to talk to extremist groups overseas and whilst police have never confirmed where the person was, officers do know they were in the same time zone as Syria. Evidence downloaded from these devices graphically demonstrated the extreme mindset of Hassane and Majeed. They had shared between them a Fatwa issued by Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani, a leading member of IS, encouraging the murder of soldiers, police, security and intelligence agents.
There were also many graphic images of beheadings and material in support of IS. These all provided valuable evidence of both the planning and the motivation of the plot which was put before the court.
The men were sufficiently advanced in their plans that prior to their arrest they had acquired a handgun, a silencer and ammunition and had plans to get a moped and identify somewhere to store them before and following the attack.
The armourer - Nathan Cuffy
The conduit - Nyall Hamlett
Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15), said, "Today’s convictions are the result of an intensive joint investigation by my command, the security services and the Met’s Trident and Area Crime Command.
"Our priority as always was ensuring the public’s safety by preventing these four very dangerous men, two of whom intended to carry out a terrorist atrocity in London.
"They were planning to target police or military personnel before escaping on a moped, but members of the public also could have been victims had their plans not been thwarted."
A date for sentencing is yet to be set.
March 23, 2016