A court heard yesterday how a husband and wife “were in the early stages” of preparing bombs allegedly aimed at Manchester’s Jewish community.
Shasta Khan, 38, has denied being involved in her husband’s plans to attack Bury’s Jewish community. At Manchester Crown Court, Mrs Khan denied engaging in preparation for terrorism and possessing information useful for terrorism. Mohammed Sajid Khan, 33, pleaded guilty to the charges at an earlier hearing.
Prosecutor Bobbie Cheema told the court the couple had become “radicalised by material found on the Internet, such as an al-Qaeda magazine called Inspire”.
Little is yet known about the intended targets, although Cheema told the jury that the couple began “to make preparations to carry out a terrorist attack on British soil, with the most likely target being an Orthodox Jewish area in Prestwich.
Ms Cheema added the pair had bought substances and equipment from supermarkets to assemble an improvised explosive device and “scoped out” targets with the aim of carrying out “jihad at home”. She added the “path from radicalisation to atrocity” had “mercifully” been stopped after a domestic row led to police being called to their house in Oldham, after which Mrs Khan’s brother told officers that Mr Khan was “a home-grown terrorist”.
Ms Cheema said Mrs Khan had then chosen to “spill the beans” about her husband and, in her “emotional state”, had given no thought to the consequences for herself of talking to police, believing officers would believe the “dutiful wife who had pointed the finger”.
No motive has been mentioned for the planned attacks, but the prosecution said the couple “believed in and supported an extreme ideology of violent “holy war’” and that in this ideology, “Jews are seen as particular enemies for their presence in Palestine and support for their existence there and, in part, by the United States and Britain for Israel.”
The trial is expected to last three weeks.