A man has been found guilty of terror offences in the United Kingdom after threatening to kill ‘thousands of homos’ at the annual Pride in London event.
Mohuissunnath Chowdhury, a 28-year-old chicken shop worker from Luton, told undercover police officers of his plans to target Pride and tourist attractions in London, the Metropolitan Police said.
Chowdhury revealed plans to obtain a gun and carry out knife and van attacks to men he believed were his friends and fellow extremists, but were actually undercover officers from Met Police Counter Terrorism Command.
He was recorded saying that it was “halal permitted” for him to kill gay people, and noted the lack of security at Pride made it an easy target, PinkNews reports.
“The security for other events is piss-poor like the gay parades they have,” Chowdhury said in recordings released by the court. “Thousands of homos marching and waving their flags. The way they march they are asking to get hit by some jihadist.”
Last year’s Pride drew over 1.5 million people, a record attendance for the event.
Woolwich Crown Court was told that Chowdhury prepared for the attack by lifting weights, practicing stabbing and beheading techniques, and booking shooting range training.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said that Chowdhury intended to “unleash death and suffering” on non-Muslims.
“The object was to unleash death and suffering on non-Muslim members of the public who happened to be present, using a firearm, sword and even a van, as part of an attack…he was unquestionably preparing for terrorism in 2019,” Atkinson said.
In a statement, Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, praised the “courage and professionalism” of the covert officers who obtained the evidence used against Chowdhury.
“They, like so many officers working across counter terrorism policing every day, are carrying out dangerous and challenging work to ensure the public is kept safe,” Smith said.
Officers spent five months investigating Chowdhury, after he was cleared of a sword attack on police in London in 2018, ITV News reports.
Chowdhury escaped conviction over the attack — which saw him attack police outside Buckingham Palace while shouting “Allahu Akbar” — by arguing that he intended suicide by police.
But he began posting “disturbing messages online…within days of his acquittal,” according to police, which led to the undercover operation.
“In counter terrorism, we constantly balance the risk dangerous individuals pose to the public with the need to gather evidence strong enough to secure a conviction and ensure they are locked up,” Smith said. “Mohuissunnath Chowdhury was determined to kill innocent people but we arrested him at the right time, having been able to gather sufficient evidence of his plans.”
Chowdhury’s sister, Sneha Chowdhury, 25, was also convicted on one count of failing to disclose information regarding terrorist activity.
Police recorded Chowdhury telling his sister that he was “doing another attack” and asking for her help to practice stabbing people — information she failed to report to police.
“There is no acceptable reason for listening to someone say they are planning to kill innocent people, and watching them practice how they will do that, then not reporting it to police,” Smith said. “Sneha Chowdhury willfully kept her brother’s horrific secret and is now facing the consequences.
“However, not every case has to end this way. If relatives report indications that a loved one is becoming radicalized early on, there is an opportunity for authorities to intervene and help them before they become too deeply entrenched. All it takes is a phone call.”
Mohuissunnath Chowdhury and Sneha Chowdhury will both be sentenced on March 13.
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