A MAN who unwittingly told covert police officers of his plans to launch a terrorist attack, and his sister who kept the plans secret have been convicted on Monday (10).
The latest ruling on Luton-based siblings came following a six-and-a-half-month counter-terrorism investigation.
The sentencing of the duo is scheduled to take place on March 13 at Woolwich Crown Court.
Woolwich Crown Court heard how Mohuissunnath Chowdhury, 28, confided his aspirations to men he thought were his friends, but who were in fact covert officers deployed as part of a Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command investigation into his activities.
He was also recorded at home telling his sister Sneha Chowdhury, 25, that he was “doing another attack”, and asking her for help to practise stabbing people – alarming information which she did not report to police.
The Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command launched an investigation – supported by the UK security service and Eastern Region Special Operations Unit – into Mohuissunnath’s activities after he began posting disturbing messages online, within days of his acquittal in relation to a separate charge of attack planning.
Counter-terrorism detectives identified that soon after being released from remand in 2018, following his acquittal, Mohuissunnath began posting messages online that demonstrated his extremist mind-set.
By the end of January 2019, he had bought a replica gun, which suggested to police that he could be planning a terrorist attack.
Covert police officers were deployed to befriend Mohuissunnath, so they could find out what he was planning and determine how serious his intent was.
An unsuspecting Mohuissunnath not only confessed to officers that he was considering targeting crowded central-London tourist attractions and the Pride in London event but even sought advice on obtaining a real gun from a covert officer using the name ‘Mikael’.
The detectives arrested the siblings together in July last year.
Mohuissunnath was subsequently charged with preparation of acts of terrorism. He was also charged with dissemination of a terrorist publication, in relation to a violent terrorist propaganda video he sent the covert officers, and possession of information useful to terrorism, for having a guide to carrying out terror attacks on his phone.
He was found guilty of all the offences.
Sneha was found guilty of one count of failing to disclose information regarding terrorist activity.
She was found not guilty of another count of failing to disclose information regarding terrorist activity.
Speaking of Sneha Chowdhury’s conviction, Commander Smith said: “There is no acceptable reason for listening to someone say they are planning to kill innocent people, and watching them practise how they will do that, then not reporting it to police. Sneha Chowdhury willfully kept her brother’s horrific secret and is now facing the consequences.
“However, not every case has to end this way. If relatives report indications that a loved one is becoming radicalised early on, there is an opportunity for authorities to intervene and help them before they become too deeply entrenched. All it takes is a phone call.”