Online dating couple to be sentenced over Isis-inspired plot

Online dating couple to be sentenced over Isis-inspirerd plot

Munir Mohammed allegedly tried to buy ingredients for the bomb (Credit: Counter terrorism policing North East)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A couple who met online will be sentenced today (February 22) for plotting an Islamic State-inspired bomb or ricin attack over the Christmas holidays.

Sudanese asylum seeker Munir Mohammed volunteered for a "lone wolf" UK mission as he chatted on Facebook with a man he believed was an Isis commander.

He enlisted the help of pharmacist Rowaida El-Hassan, drawing on her knowledge of chemicals needed to make a bomb after seeking her out on dating website

At the time of his arrest in December 2016, Mohammed possessed two of the three components for TATP explosives as well as manuals on how to make bombs and ricin poison.

Mohammed, from Derby, and mother-of-two El-Hassan from north-west London denied preparing terrorist acts between November 2015 and December 2016.

But following an Old Bailey trial, a jury found the pair guilty of the plot in January. They will be sentenced today (February 22) by Judge Michael Topolski QC.

The court heard that Mohammed arrived in Britain in the back of a lorry and claimed asylum in February 2014.

The prosecution claimed he was attracted to University College London graduate El-Hassan because she referred to being a qualified pharmacist in her dating profile.

By the spring of 2016 the pair were in regular contact on WhatsApp and had met more than once in a London park near El-Hassan's home.

In August 2016, Mohammed was put in touch via Facebook with a man he believed was an Isis commander, to whom he pledged to do "a new job in the UK."

El-Hassan proceeded to advise fellow divorcee Mohammed on what chemicals he needed for the bomb.

When police raided Mohammed’s home in December 2016, they found hydrogen peroxide in a wardrobe and hydrochloric acid in the freezer.

Mohammed denied the chemicals were for a bomb, claiming the hydrochloric acid was to clean the alloys on his car and the peroxide was to treat a burn.

El-Hassan, who came to Britain from Sudan at the age of three, told jurors she had sulphuric acid for her drains and got face masks to wear as she dealt with a damp problem in her flat.

On the relationship, she admitted having an "emotional attachment" to Mohammed but said she had "mixed feelings."