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Police had no intelligence about the attack, but the men were caught when they arrived at their target after the rally ended.
Six would-be terrorists had their nefarious plot to bomb an anti-Islamic rally foiled by poor planning.
The six men from the West Midlands, Omar Mohammed Khan, Mohammed Hasseen, Anzal Hussain, Mohammed Saud, Zohaib Ahmed and Jewel Uddin, pled guilty on Tuesday to planning to bomb an English Defence League rally last June.
Five of them traveled with a homemade bomb, guns, knives and a machete, to the rally in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire last year, but arrived after the anti-Muslim posters had been stashed away and the far-right speakers had called it a day.
Police and security services apparently had no knowledge of the planned attack, although one of the plotters, Uddin, was under surveillance for another plot.
The bumbling men were stopped by a traffic officer, and had their car seized because it was not insured. Foiled by paperwork.
It’s the second UK case of would-be terrorists foiled in part by their own incompetence, according to GlobalPost's senior correspondent in London, Corinne Purtill.
In February, three Birmingham men were convicted of plotting a series of terror attacks against unnamed UK targets that they boasted would be “another 9/11.”
The three earned money for the operation by posing as charity collectors on the street and soliciting donations from the public, Purtill says. The man tasked with managing the group’s finances lost £9,000 ($13,980) in two weeks – £3,000 ($4,660) in a single sitting, when he abandoned the open online trading window on his computer and went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea.
At the trial, the prosecution offered up a text message one of the men received from his wife with a movie recommendation: “Four Lions at nine, Channel 4.”
Four Lions is a British dark comedy in which "a handful of young [Muslim] men set out to take on the decadent West but are more of a threat to themselves than anyone else," according to the film industry news and information site, Rotten Tomatoes.
All jokes aside, the West Yorkshire plotters allegedly had printouts of a chilling letter addressed to UK Prime Minister David Cameron and the Queen, which read:
We love death more than you love life … What we did today was a direct retaliation of your insulting of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) & also in retaliation of your crusade against Islam/Muslims on a global scale. It is of the greatest honour for us to do what we did.
Marcus Beale, assistant chief constable of the West Midlands Police, said the six were "clearly a radicalized group."
"Their intent was to recklessly cause mayhem and probably mass injuries," he said, according to the Associated Press.
The intended target of the six men, the EDL rally, had broken up because there were not enough speakers to keep the rally going. The group says it supports peaceful protest, but its critics accuse it of racism.