Uber Driver, 28, Plotted to Drive His Car Into ‘Evil’ Gay Pride Parade to Kill Non-Muslims, Court Hears
Rod Ardehali, Daily Mail, February 4, 2020
An Uber driver described as a ‘pathetic little man’ by his own barrister planned to drive a van into an ‘evil’ Gay Pride parade to kill non-Muslims, a court has heard.
Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, 28, also singled out Madam Tussauds and a double decker tourist bus as targets, Woolwich Crown Court heard.
It was part of his plan to ‘unleash death and suffering on non-Muslim members of the public,’ it is claimed.
Jurors heard Chowdhury was cleared of preparing to commit an act of terrorism by an Old Bailey jury in December 2018.
He is now standing trial for engaging in the preparation of acts of terrorism and his sister, Sneha Chowdhury, 25, is accused of two charges of failing to notify the authorities of a potential terror attack.
Chowdhury’s plans were foiled by three undercover officers posing as like-minded extremists.
He sent letters to his sister with quotes justifying what he had done showing he was the same man in 2019 as he was when he was prosecuted in 2017, it is claimed.
In his closing speech prosecutor Duncan Atkinson said: ‘He wrote about ‘paradise under the shades of swords’ and wanting to discuss this with an imam,’ he said.
‘The crossover, the common factors between those that he posted in 2019 that show he was the same man with the same inspirations as 2017.
‘The Black Sahaba story, tale of gaining paradise by fighting disbelievers and being killed in the end, he posted that within days of being released from prison.’
Undercover officer Mikael provides a significant portion of the evidence against Chowdury, made through covert recordings.
‘Within days of first meeting with undercover officers and within no time when he learned Mikael was about to become a martyr,’ Mr Atkinson said.
‘In his interview he denied his postings were designed to encourage terror, rather general islamic conversation, discussing both the nice and the not nice.
‘But if you look at what he posted, it was not debate it was evangelising, advancing his view.
‘It was a nonsensical explanation you may think, that he was posting to confirm, in prison, despite himself he couldn’t help himself just a habit, boasting to friends who knew what he was saying and to everyone in his family and home.
In 2019 he was still listening to the sermons of Muslim cleric Anwar Awlaki, who he told undercover officers he played for inspiration while he drove to Buckingham Palace in 2017.
On 17 March he played and sent Islamic State propaganda videos calling for battle between believers and non-believers, the court heard.
Mr Atkinson said: ‘He told you that he agreed with what Sheikh Faisal [Abdullah el-Faisal] had to say, he was sending them to undercover officers to educate them, you may think he was seeking to encourage those he sent them to support the views he expressed and shared.
‘He was attracted to Tommy Robinson’s interpretation of Islam as a violent religion you may think his explanation of the book shows both that he had read it and was excited by it.
‘The reordering of the Koran, a non-watered down version, he shared with others as guidance and approach to the Koran, he refers to the killing of those in Charlie Hebdo in France as beautiful.
‘He described the killing of Lee Rigby as amazing.’
Chowdury speculated he could ‘do so much’ with an ‘AK’ in covertly recorded conversation with officers, the court heard.
He replied ‘yes please’ when Mikael offered a contact to buy a gun, he also booked himself on a firearms course, which he later cancelled after becoming concerned about arising suspicion.
On one occasion he told his sister he had ‘bare [lots of] friends from the mosque who he was radicalising.
In covert recordings Chowdury discussed the rewards of violent jihad.
The recordings read: ‘He’ll give you his paradise, what you have to do you have to fight, you kill and then they are killed, it doesn’t get much clearer than that does it?
‘Allah says its a bargain, it’s just a few minutes fighting you kill and you are killed, every road has a shortcut, and a shortcut to Islam is a jihad..’
Chowdury considered targeting of London’s gay pride parade with a van after realising attacking remembrance Sunday was too difficult due to security.
He believed it was ‘halal permitted’ for jihadis to target gays.
‘Mikael brought it up again to find out if serious or not, affording him chance to say he was joking,’ said the prosecutor.
‘He gave him a chance to back off, on the 7th of April he says he wants to wait, he thinks not ready yet.
‘He keeps talking about it himself, so for example, ‘It sounds like it’s a bit separated for heavy loads, you should raise the bumpers, the heavier the better, these gay parades it’s all forbidden, it’s all evil’.’
Recordings and damage to his bedroom wardrobe shows he was practicing using knives and a sword, the court heard.
‘Evidence shows slits and slashes on side of wardrobe, his sister told you were only visible when inside his room, less likely to attract notice of others, particularly his father who had earlier taken away his bokken.
‘He talks to her about getting the motion right, what vital areas you need to stab and how you nee to stab them, demonstrates techniques he has practiced.
Mr Atkinson said the sister was well aware what of Chowdury was plotting.
‘How likely is it that these would forget acting with a bokken (sword) with him and a kitchen knife with him,’ he asked.
‘Is it a lack of memory or is it evasion? Was she simply not telling the police in interview the truth?
‘She knew better than anyone, sat through both trials, she would have known what her brother had done, he drove to Windsor, he drove to Buckingham palace, with a sword.’
Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, of Kirkwood Road, Luton, denies engaging in the preparation of acts of terrorism, collecting information contrary to section 58 of the Terrorism Act.
He is further charged with sharing a video called ‘The Establishment of the Islamic State Pt 6’ in March of this year intending it to be a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism or being reckless as to whether it would have such an effect.
Chowdhury is also accused of possessing a document titled ‘Guidelines for doing just terror operations’ said to be useful to someone preparing or committing an act of terror on July 3.
Sneha Chowdhury, of the same address, denies two charges of failing to disclose information about terrorism between January 24 and July 3 last year under section 38B (2) of the Terrorism Act 2000
It is alleged she had information which she knew or believed might be of material assistance in preventing the commission of an act of terrorism and failed to disclose the information as soon as reasonably practicable to a police officer.
The trial continues.