He was a “religious teacher” at the local mosque. The Mirror does not, of course, bother to explain how it was that this man who had dedicated his life to understanding Islam properly and communicating it correctly had come to be “fascinated by the warped and extreme ideology of Islamic State.” Will the imam Theresa May visit Umar Haque and explain to him how he is misunderstanding his peaceful religion? Will British authorities ponder the implications of his role as a “religious teacher” at the mosque? Will they investigate those whom he taught? Or would all that be “Islamophobic”?
“‘ISIS-inspired fanatic claimed he was with ‘death squad sent by Allah’ and plotted attacks on Big Ben and shopping mall,’ court told,” by Emily Pennink and James Caven, Mirror, January 16, 2018:
An ISIS-inspired terrorist plotted to attack targets in the UK including Big Ben, Parliament, banks and shopping centres, claiming he was part of a “death squad sent by Allah”, a court heard.
Umar Haque, 25, is accused of enlisting the help and support of others at his local mosque, and trying to groom children with roleplay and extremist videos showing beheadings.
The court heard the religious teacher was “fascinated by the warped and extreme ideology of Islamic State”.
His “numerous” alleged targets also included the Queen’s Guard, Transport for London, Heathrow Airport, the English Defence League or Britain First, and the media.
Jurors were told that last year’s Westminster Bridge attack sparked his “fascination and contemplation”, and he discussed using a car or bombs to carry out an atrocity.
Opening his Old Bailey trial, Mark Heywood QC said: “The essence of this case is that the first defendant Umar Haque had decided in 2016 and early 2017 to carry out one or more violent attacks with others if he could in this country.
“His motivation was the same motivation that drives the banned Islamic State group and was at its heart religious and political.
“He hoped in due course to be able to inspire others to join him in one or more than one significant violent attacks on targets in this country including on both civilian, police and other targets.”
Abuthaher Mamun, 19, Muhammad Abid, 27, and Nadeem Patel, 26, who knew Haque through the Ripple Road Mosque in Barking, east London, are accused of helping him in various ways.
Mamun assisted with planning and details, Abid had a role in “discussion and lower level of support” while Patel agreed to provide a gun, jurors were told.
Mr Heywood said: “Umar Haque was fascinated by the warped and extreme ideology of Islamic State.
“He had identified methods and targets. Those targets were numerous but included for example, the Queen’s Guard, the courts, Transport for London, Shia Muslims, Westfield, banks in the City of London, Heathrow, west London, Parliament, Big Ben, the English Defence League or Britain First, embassies, media stations.
“Mamun also agreed to, and set about, raising money to fund Haque’s plans.”
Mr Heywood added: “By 2016, Mr Haque had developed an extreme mindset. He was then prepared to contemplate and certainly capable of justifying acts of extreme violence in pursuit of the cause – the cause that he had come wholeheartedly to believe in.
“He had clearly begun to turn his mind to the commission of violent terrorist acts in the United Kingdom.
“In doing so, he set out to involve those he knew, people around him he came to trust and rely upon.”
The court heard Haque showed beheading videos to pupils and later had youngsters at a mosque carry out violent role play against the police….
Haque denies showing YouTube videos, featuring guns, burning passports and beheadings, at the Lantern of Knowledge school in Leyton, east London, where he taught.
But he admits doing so later at the Riddle Road Mosque where he taught classes, jurors heard.
Haque and Mamun are accused of preparing acts of terrorism between March 25 and May 18 2017.
Haque is accused of researching and planning a terrorist attack while Mamun allegedly traded in options in order to finance it. Haque is further charged with preparing terrorist acts by leading exercises in physical training and “role play” with children at the Ripple Road Mosque.
Haque is further accused of dissemination of terrorist publications.
Abid is accused of having information about Haque’s plans and Patel is charged with plotting with Haque to possess a firearm or imitation firearm.
Abid is accused of failing to tell the authorities that he knew Haque was planning an attack….
Haque has admitted charges of collection of terrorist information and a further charge of dissemination of a terrorist publication. And Patel has admitted possessing a prohibited weapon….
The Westminster Bridge terror attack on March 22 last year sparked his “fascination and contemplation”, the jury was told.
His attitude was revealed in bugged conversations in Abid’s Volkswagen and home and Haque’s Ford Focus, the court heard.
Four days after the Westminster attack, the pair talked about it for five hours.
Haque expressed fears of a “snitch” and discussed the justification for killing civilians, jurors were told.
He allegedly discussed using a car, leaving bombs in a lift, and going for “a quick spin” around Westminster.
Haque allegedly said: “So what I want to personally is launch different attacks in all the different areas, one in Westminster, one in Stratford, one in Forest Gate, one … in so many different areas, yeah.
“Immediately there’s one focus to all the police. Get off the streets. Civilians get off the streets. London will be, not just Westminster attack, entire London …
“We’re here to cause terror, my brother. We are a death squad sent by Allah and his messengers to avenge my Arab brothers’ blood …