Six thugs have been jailed for 36 years after battering two men almost to death because they were black and non-Muslim.

Ringleader Abu Bakr Mansha–who was previously jailed under the Terrorism Act for plotting to kill or harm a decorated soldier–was with a teenage boy when the pair began the unprovoked attack at a busy Tesco store in Bow, east London.

He assaulted the two victims before following them home to discover where they lived–then called four other thugs to help.

Armed with baseball bats, they beat the two men in a vicious attack which left both victims needing hospital treatment for serious injuries.

One of the victims, who were 40 and 49 at the time, suffered two broken wrists and a fractured skull.

The Inner London Crown Court heard there was both a religious element and a racial element to the attack on the two men, who were black and non-Muslim.

The vicious assault sparked an investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism command.

All six of the attackers, who the Met Police confirmed were Muslim, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent.

Judge Ian Darling said: ‘Not only was there a religious aspect to this offence, but there was an undoubted racial element.

‘Both prior to and after the attack, Mr Mansha is heard to use language that is foul, unacceptable and which reveals a degree of racial intolerance that is worrying.’

Ringleader Mansha, of Newham, north London, was jailed for 10 years.

He had already been jailed under the Terrorism Act in 2005 for plotting to kill or harm a decorated British soldier who had served in Iraq.

A court heard he had collected newspaper cuttings about the exploits of Corporal Mark Byles, who had been awarded the Military Cross after leading an attack in which five insurgents died.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed the Abu Bakr Mansha jailed this week was the same Abu Bakr Mansha jailed over the plot in 2005.

Of the others involved in the 2012 attack, the teenage boy–who cannot be named because he is currently 17 years old–was sentenced to an 18-month detention and training order.

Salim Jada, 32, and Javed Patel, 29, both also of Newham, were jailed for eight years each.

Ibrahim Mohammed, 32, from Newham, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years’ jail, while 30-year-old Zuber Kara, of Bow, east London, received a two-year jail sentence.

Acting Commander Duncan Ball, the head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: ‘This was a vicious, cowardly, racist and religiously-motivated attack during which the victims received serious injuries.

‘The support and assistance of the local community was vital and illustrates the refusal of the public to feel intimidated by such violent criminal behaviour.

‘The fitting sentences provide strong reassurance that we remain resolute in pursuing those who carry out acts of violence.’

A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain said: ‘This was a criminal act and we condemn it unreservedly. Our thoughts and sympathy are with both victims and their families.

‘Criminals are not motivated by anything other than their own base desires. If they claim they were motivated by faith, as some have reported, then they are surely misguided.’

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