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A judge sentenced six Islamists from Birmingham to jail terms of nearly 20 years each for plotting a terrorist attack on an English Defence League meeting. The nearly 18,000 items of radical Islamist material found on the defendants' phones and computers were of "continuing significance," the judge noted.
At the sentencing of six Birmingham men convicted of plotting to bomb an English Defence League rally and possibly assassinate its leader, the prosecutor said the men intended to exact vengeance on the EDL for alleged blasphemy and to incur a retaliatory response from the EDL. One of the men, Jewel Uddin, was also linked to another Islamist terror group that was plotting attacks of its own. Another of the men, Zohaib Ahmed, had previously been arrested for possession of jihadist literature, and a third man, Mohammed Hasseen, was found to have 859 files of extremist material.
Police are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a north London Islamic center; the acronym for the English Defence League was found daubed on the building. A 30-year-old east London man was detained on June 4 for "disseminating terror publications" and is being held in custody. The arrest is linked to the May 24 arrest of Abdullah-Hassan, a.k.a. Abu Nusaybah, on similar charges.
Michael Adebowale and Michael Adelbolajo, prime suspects in the killing of a UK soldier in Woolwich, were given a date of June 28 for a preliminary hearing in the case. Prime Minister Cameron said that although the government has already held three major terrorist trials this year that sent 18 plotters to prison, "excluded more preachers of hate from this country than ever before," and closed militant websites that featured 5,700 "items of terrorist material," it was clear the government needed to do more.
The second main suspect in the Woolwich murder case, Michael Adebolajo, was charged with the murder of a British soldier, attempted murder of two police officers, and a weapons violation. A Syrian rebel fighter with the Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham claimed that slain British jihadist Ali al-Manasfi, the dead American jihadist Nicole Mansfield, and another possibly British jihadist called Abu Zubeir were fighting with Ahrar al-Sham when they were killed by Syrian forces.
An east London man, Abu Nusaybah a.k.a. Ibrahim Abdullah-Hassan, was charged with three terrorism offenses related to the publication of extremist literature. Hassan was arrested on May 24 immediately after giving an interview about his relationship with Woolwich murder suspect Michael Adebolajo.
Michael Adebowale, one of the two main suspects in the killing of a British soldier in Woolwich, was charged with murder and a related firearms offense. The other main suspect, Michael Adebolajo, remains hospitalized. Authorities warned of an increased risk of hostage attacks at prisons, after three Muslim prisoners who supported radical extremism held an officer hostage at a detention facility in Yorkshire on May 26.
Police arrested a man in Welling in southeast London on suspicion of links to the murder of a soldier in Woolwich; it is the 10th arrest so far in the case; four other suspects are being held, four more have been released on bail, and two were released without charge. Foreign Secretary Hague announced that the European Union is lifting its embargo on sending weapons to the Syrian rebels; it appears, however, that no EU nations are currently preparing to send weapons to the rebels. Two Pakistani men who had threatened to blow up an airliner were held without bail.
Authorities investigating the murder of a British solder in Woolwich arrested a ninth suspect in north London. Murder suspect Michael Adebolajo was deported to the UK in 2010 after being arrested by Kenyan authorities while trying to take a group of recruits to Shabaab in Somalia. A group that monitors extremism on UK campuses found that in the 12 months prior to March 2013, radical Islamist preachers addressed students at 200 official events. Home Secretary Theresa May has admitted that money from the government's antiterrorism project has gone to hardline Islamist groups.
Counterterrorism police arrested three more suspects in the Woolwich murder of a British soldier: one man in southeast London, and two others south of the city. Prime Minister Cameron will launch an initiative to "[deal] with extremism at its root, as opposed to just tackling criminal violent extremism," including preventing the dissemination of hate speech and telling moderate Muslim groups to be more proactive in condemning terrorism. Extremist cleric Omar Bakri called one of the attackers a "hero" for staying at the scene of the murder.