A terror cell caught with details of bomb-making and suicide vests may have been plotting to attack the Queen and members of the Royal family, it can be disclosed.
The cell, which included Britain’s youngest ever terrorist, arrested on his way home from his GCSE chemistry exam, was found with information about the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh along with the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex and the Princess Royal.
Also on the list were Princess Michael of Kent, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and The Duke and Duchess of Kent.
Aabid Hussain Khan, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, had compiled pictures, maps and details of the opening hours of official residences from information available on the internet.
There were also details of London landmarks including the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and the underground as well as the New York and Washington metros and a home-made video of the Washington Memorial and World Bank in the US.
A counter-terrorism source said: “They had details of explosives and poisons along with information about London landmarks and a computer folder on Royal residences. We would be foolish to rule out the fact that they may have been planning an attack.”
Detective Chief Superintendent John Parkinson, Head of the Counter Terrorism Unit in Leeds, said the men posed a “very real threat”.
He added: “Let there be no doubt, these are dangerous individuals. These men were not simply in possession of material which expressed extremist views. They were also in possession of material that was operationally useful to anyone wishing to carry out an act of violence or terrorism.”
Khan, 23, was yesterday convicted of three counts of possessing articles for terrorism but the jury was not told he was part of a network of international terrorists in Europe and North America.
It can now be revealed that Khan was closely connected to the alleged leader of a group of men currently awaiting trial for plotting an attack.
Khan, using the name Ocean Blue, was also in regular contact with an aspiring suicide bomber in Edinburgh, Mohammed Atif Siddique.
He had also communicated regularly with three terrorists who ran websites for Al-Qaeda in Iraq from London and Kent.
Khan groomed Hammaad Munshi, then 15, the grandson of the head of a sharia court in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.
Munshi, who lived with his parents and four brothers, was carrying two small bags of ball bearings, a key component of a suicide vest, when he was arrested on his way home from Westborough High School in Dewsbury on the afternoon of June 2006.
He had been running his own website selling knives and Islamic flags and using the online identity Fidadee — meaning “to die for” – on the auction website ebay.
He also had hand-written notes on martyrdom and had created and circulated technical documents via email and secure web forums on how to make Napalm, how to make a detonator and the production of home made explosives.
Operation Praline, run by the Counter-Terrorism Unit in Leeds, was sparked when police, acting on intelligence, stopped Khan at Manchester airport as he returned from Pakistan….