Poverty Causes Terrorism Update: penniless well-paid professional, lacking any marketable skills whatsoever, in this case a dental assistant, turns in desperation to jihad.
“British Muslim dentist jailed for planning Al Qaeda attacks on UK troops in Afghanistan,” from the Daily Mail (thanks to Wayne):
A British al Qaeda trained terrorist was jailed today after being arrested at Heathrow Airport on his way to fight coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Dental assistant Sohail Qureshi, 30, told fellow extremists he planned to “kill many” during a two-to three-week mission, possibly fighting British troops.
He was jailed at the Old Bailey for four and a half years – but could be free in just over a year because of the time he has spent awaiting trial.
Police refused to comment publicly after sentencing but privately senior anti-terrorist detectives were said to be “disappointed” with the verdict.
After his sentencing this afternoon, Scotland Yard released photographs of Qureshi posing with an M16 and a AK47 assault rifle and sources described him as a “significant player” with long-term links to al Qaeda.
They are believed to have been taken at training camps in Pakistan which he is known to have visited a number of times in the last 10 years.
The Pakistani-born Muslim was working as a Â£1,100-a-month dental assistant in Barking at the time of his arrest at Heathrow in November 2006 when he tried to board a flight to Islamabad with a night-vision scope, metal batons and Â£9,000 in cash.
He claimed he was going to visit his family for the Islamic festival of Eid. Qureshi, of Forest-Gate, is the first to be convicted under new legislation targeting the preparation of terrorist acts. He was held after a joint operation involving the Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command and the Security Services.
Investigations revealed Qureshi offered to help the war effort in Pakistan and Afghanistan. An intercept communication revealed him telling one of his contacts: “All I know is it’s a two- to three-week operation….. Pray that I kill many.”
Qureshi pleaded guilty to preparing for the commission of terrorist acts, possession of articles for terrorist purposes and possession of articles likely to be useful to terrorists….