The BBC tells us they were “three men.” Three “radicalised young men” who “despised” British people. Way down in the story we start hearing about al-Qaeda. Otherwise the BBC does its level best to prevent you from getting any inkling of the motivating ideology of these men.
“Birmingham terror suspects ‘planned to kill British soldiers,'” from the BBC, January 25 (thanks to Mark):
Three men discussed using suicide vests, rucksack bombs and guns to kill British soldiers, a court has heard.
Irfan Naseer, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali, all of Birmingham, deny conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.
Prosecutors told Woolwich Crown Court the three men had “glorified” the 9/11 attacks and that Mr Ali made the claim about the plan to attack soldiers during a police interview.
But Mr Ali later told the court he did not intend to carry out such an attack.
The soldier attacks were said to be planned for April or May 2012.
The court has also heard the men were planning a bombing campaign which could have been bigger than the 7 July London attacks had they succeeded.
Brian Altman QC said the three were “radicalised young men”, who “revered Osama Bin Laden”.
And he said Mr Naseer and Mr Khalid returned from terror training “with radical ideas which they planned to put into action”.
Police believed the men were hoping to detonate as many as eight rucksack bombs against multiple targets in the UK.
Mr Naseer, from the Sparkhill area of Birmingham, and Mr Khalid, from the Sparkbrook area, are also accused of preparing for acts of terrorism by receiving training in Pakistan.
Mr Altman also told the court the men planned to kill British people “who they despised”.
And Mr Altman said the men were “not the Four Lions”, making reference to the “joke, would-be suicide bombers” portrayed in a fictional film about a group of British men planning a suicide attack within the UK.
The three were “deadly serious, hell-bent on achieving their goal”, the prosecutor added.
The jury was told by prosecutors at the start of the trial that the pair had recorded suicide videos in Pakistan that would have been played to the world had their plot been completed.
During the trial, the jury heard the men had bought sports injury packs which prosecutors say contained chemicals useful in bomb-making.
Mr Naseer was allegedly planning to construct explosive devices and police recovered a partially burnt note that detailed a method to make a bomb.
Mr Naseer told the jury that, in his conversations that were secretly recorded, he was in fact only pretending to be a terrorist to make himself look big.
He said he had posed as a trained plotter with al-Qaeda contacts because he had faced rumours in his local community that he was a Pakistani spy.
But Jonathan Whitfield QC, defending Mr Naseer, asked the jury: “Can you honestly see Mr Naseer running up and down a mountain lugging weapons… a rocket launcher?
“The only thing he’s shot off is his mouth. Why would al-Qaeda waste a rocket launcher on Mr Naseer?
“The only places that Mr Naseer has been to are to are in his mind. The only guns he’s used are on the computer. There’s a wonderland he sometimes inhabits called Naseeristan.
“He does not deserve to be called a terrorist.”
That’s quite a defense: “I’m too much of a worm to have been a jihad terrorist.”