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Life term for British couple plotting terror attack

world Updated: Dec 30, 2015 21:19 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times
Terror attack

A combination of two undated handout pictures retrieved from the Thames Valley Police website, shows Mohammed Rehman and Sana Ahmed Khan, who were convicted at the Old Bailey.(AFP)

A woman whose ancestors converted from Hinduism to Islam and her husband were sentenced to life on Wednesday after being convicted of planning a suicide bombing on the 10th anniversary of the 2005 London bombings.

Sana Ahmed Khan, 24, the once “mild-mannered and polite” daughter of charity worker Saleen Ahmed-Khan, will serve at least 25 years in jail before being considered for parole. Her husband Mohammed Rehman, 25, will serve a minimum of 27 years.

Considered a pillar of the local community in Reading, Saleen Ahmed-Khan reportedly told the high court they were a “multi-religious family” - her mother’s side of the family were converts to Islam from Hinduism, while her mother-in-law was Christian.

The terror plot is reported to be one of seven that British security services foiled during this year, as mentioned recently by Prime Minister David Cameron in the House of Commons.

Rehman used his bedroom as a bomb factory filled with deadly chemicals and explosives recipes, and took to Twitter for help picking targets, while Sana took loans to buy 11kg of fertiliser to make bombs.

Members of Rehman’s family described him as a “lowlife idiot” drug addict, while Sana was warned by her mother she would be disowned if she married Rehman as he was reportedly notorious in Reading’s Muslim community for his extremist views.

Prosecutor Tony Badenoch said: “They shared a common interest – violent and extreme Islamic ideology and its methods of impacting upon the Western world. They were not attention-seeking boasts as the plethora of chemicals seized at the home of Mohammed Rehman demonstrates.”

He told the court, “Those chemicals were capable of being mixed into lethal bombs – ready to go, following one of the many recipes collated in his notebook and stored on his computer.”