LONDON: An Indian-origin terror suspect, who allegedly agreed to help another man acquire a gun for an attack in London, went on trial along with three others on Tuesday.
Nadeem Ilyas Patel, from east London, was charged with possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence in May last year.
The 26-year-old was remanded in custody along with Umar Ahmed Haque, 25, Muhammed Abid, 27, and Abuthater Mamun, 19, who are all on trial at the Old Bailey court in London.
Patel denies conspiracy to possess a firearm but has pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited weapon.
Haque, a schoolteacher, emerged as the mastermind of the group as the court was told that he was “fascinated” by the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group.
The London landmark of Big Ben, Heathrow Airport, a shopping centre and police officers were among his planned targets for a terrorist attack.
“He was fascinated by the warped and extreme ideology of Islamic State. As he later told the police after his arrest, he was their loyal follower,” said prosecutor Mark Heywood.
Haque was inspired by the attack on the UK Parliament in March 2017, which killed five people, and he was recorded outlining his violent plans to Mamun.
“Umar Haque had determined in 2016 and early 2017 to carry out a violent attack or attacks, with others if he could, in this country,” Heywood said, adding that he also influenced students, aged between 11 and 14, whom he taught at the Lantern of Knowledge Islamic School in east London.
“His methods were to expose them to information and video recordings, of the kind that no one should expose to children, and even have them enact scenarios of violent action against police,” he told the court.
Haque denies two counts of preparing to commit terrorist acts, one charge of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, and one count of dissemination of terrorist publications.
He has admitted possessing three copies of a terrorist publication and a second charge of dissemination of terror publications.
Mamun is accused of assisting him to raise funds for a terror plot and Abid is charged with failing to tell the authorities about the alleged plans.
Haque is further charged with preparing terrorist acts by leading exercises in physical training and “role play” with children at the Ripple Road Mosque.
Religious teacher Haque is further accused of dissemination of terrorist publications.
Abid is accused of having information about Haque’s plans and Patel is charged with plotting with Haque to possess a firearm or imitation firearm.
The defendants, who all lived in east London, have denied the charges.
Haque has admitted charges of collection of terrorist information and a further charge of dissemination of a terrorist publication.
And Patel has admitted possessing a prohibited weapon.