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Man who said he wanted to throw grenade at police station jailed

A person who said he wanted to throw a grenade at a police station has been jailed for terror and explosives offences.

Mohammed Chowdhury, 24, was arrested after meeting with an undercover police officer who was posing as an arms vendor at a Costa Coffee department in London.

Chowdhury paid £300 for what he believed to be an actual grenade, however was instantly arrested in a sting by armed police.

He was convicted of making an attempt to possess an explosive with intent to endanger life or property in February, following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Chowdhury had beforehand pleaded responsible to 4 counts of possessing paperwork seemingly to be helpful to an individual making ready an act of terrorism, however was not charged with planning a terror assault himself.

Sentencing him on Monday, Judge Philip Katz QC said Chowdhury didn’t have a “fixed plan” and that throwing the grenade at a police station was one chance.

He said Chowdhury supposed to trigger critical injury or endanger life with the weapon by detonating it in public at a future level.

Chowdhury was jailed for 9 years with an extra 5 years on prolonged licence, after the decide discovered him to be a harmful offender.

The defendant was beforehand prosecuted after brandishing an axe exterior Stepney Green Underground Station in 2019.

The courtroom heard that he had been pushed by a person and returned with the weapon, waving it round.

After being caught, Chowdhury appeared to direct his rage in opposition to the police.

Judge Katz said he had not been politically or religiously radicalised, and that the tried buy of the hand grenade didn’t have a terrorist connection.

But he discovered that Chowdhury developed an “unhealthy interest in explosives and dangerous weapons” and appeared for info on weapons and explosives on the darkish internet.

“You were not radicalised in the religious or political way seen in so many other cases, but you were deeply immersed in the digital world of violence,” the decide added.

“In my judgment, when you become frustrated with life your anger is liable to tip over into action and violence.”

He rejected Chowdhury’s mitigation that his threats have been merely “childish tantrums”.

Defence barrister Michael Skelley said Chowdhury had struggled all through his life and had wanted to be a spy like James Bond.

He had been assessed for a studying incapacity and autism however had by no means acquired a full prognosis.

At the time of the offending, he was unemployed and remoted, current on takeaways in a bedsit and browsing the web, Mr Skelley said.

Judge Katz said Chowdhury had led a lonely and remoted life, and will have fallen by means of a niche in psychological well being providers.

Following his arrest on 5 February 2020, he made a number of cellphone calls to relations from jail the place he informed them what he wanted to do with the grenade.

In one name to his mom and sister, he said he wanted “to chuck it in the station area”, including: “I wanted to do something serious like on the TV.”

Speaking to his mom in March 2020, he said: “I don’t care about the judge or the police and that. I wanted to hurt one of them, innit. I was getting annoyed. That’s why I went, that’s why I went to get the thingy [grenade].”

Chowdhury steered he might have hid the grenade in a spot the place it might have “blown up in their face”, however then added: “If I would have got that I would have chucked it at the station, innit, I don’t care.”

He said he wanted to do “something bad” and informed his mom: “I don’t care if I see any legs or anything or someone’s legs coming off. Something like that.”

The Old Bailey heard the goal for his grenade assault might have been Bethnal Green police station.

In a search of his flat, police recovered a “shopping list” together with handcuffs, nitrite gloves, and powerful acid.

Chowdhury appeared to have tried to purchase a balaclava, lock picks, a stun gun and a handgun on-line, jurors heard.

In a be aware saved on his cell phone, he had written about wanting his household lifeless, “feeling homicidal” and attacking college students in a university.

“I feel I want to commit mass murder and kill myself before the police get a chance to arrest me,” Chowdhury wrote.

An examination of the gadget indicated that he had downloaded info on making explosives, together with terrorist paperwork.

Chowdhury had additionally searched the web for phrases together with IED, pipebomb and the phrase “let’s make a bomb”.

Commander Richard Smith, head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command said: “Chowdhury downloaded quite a lot of extraordinarily regarding paperwork and manuals, containing particulars of how to create and deploy explosives and deadly weapons. What’s extra, he then made very critical makes an attempt at making an attempt to pay money for a hand grenade, which, it transpired, he was contemplating to use in opposition to a police station.

“These are extraordinarily critical offences and the general public are undoubtedly safer following this investigation and final result.“

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