A couple who met on a single Muslims dating website have been accused of plotting an Islamic State-inspired attack on Britain with a homemade bomb or deadly ricin poison.
Munir Mohammed, of Leopold Street, Derby, volunteered for a “new job in the UK” while communicating on Facebook with a man he believed was an IS commander, a court has heard.
He allegedly enlisted the help of 33-year-old pharmacist Rowaida El-Hassan, of Kilburn, drawing on her knowledge of what chemicals were needed to make a bomb.
The Old Bailey heard on Monday (October 30) that, at the time of his arrest last December, Mohammed had two of the three components for TATP explosives, bomb-making instructions, mobile phone detonators and ricin.
“This is a case which reflects the age in which we live,” prosecutor Anne Whyte QC told jurors.
“It demonstrates the relative ease with which acts of terrorism can be prepared, thanks to the internet.
“The prosecution allege that Munir Mohammed had resolved upon a lone wolf attack and that Rowaida El-Hassan was aware of his engagement with such a plan.”
The pair, of Sudanese origin, had originally met through a dating website called singlemuslim.com, where Mohammed, 36, said he was a British citizen looking for a wife to have children with.
El-Hassan, of Willesden Lane, graduated from University College London and referred to having a Masters degree in pharmacy on her online profile.
The west London resident wrote: “I am looking for a simple, very simple, honest and straightforward man who fears Allah before anything else.
“I am looking for a man I can vibe with on a spiritual and intellectual level. Someone who can teach me new things and inspire me.”
Jurors heard the pair had “rapidly formed an emotional attachment and a shared ideology” and by spring of 2016 were regularly contacting each other on WhatsApp.
'Assisted online research about manufacture of ricin'
Ms Whyte added: “Rowaida El-Hassan had a professional knowledge of chemicals because of her professional training and qualifications.
“She assisted Mohammed by providing him information about chemical components required for bomb-making and how to source them, and she assisted his online research about the manufacture of ricin using castor beans.”
The pair shared extremist views and videos, as well as arguments, jokes and every-day concerns – such as Mohammed's “precarious” immigration status, the Old Bailey heard.
In August last year Mohammed was allegedly put in touch on Facebook with a man he believed was an IS commander, known as Abubakr Kurdi.
He pledged allegiance to Kurdi and offered to participate in "a new job in the UK", said to mean an act of terrorism, jurors heard.
In September last year Mohammed allegedly complained he had not received his instructions, saying: "If possible send how we make dough for Syrian bread and other types of food."
Ms Whyte told jurors "dough" was a code word for explosives and "Syrian bread and other types of food" was a crude reference to a device.
'No intention to make a bomb'
In November last year Mohammed got hold of a video containing information on how to manufacture ricin, the court heard.
Mohammed denied supporting IS or planning an attack and divorcee El-Hassan said she advised him on the chemicals as he wanted to know how he could treat a wound and clean something.
According to defence barrister Charles Bott QC, Mohammed's possession of household items was "misunderstood" and he had no intention to make a bomb.
Tim Moloney QC said the whole picture would show El-Hassan was not a supporter of IS.
The trial continues.
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