Brit police foiled Manchester suicide terror plot more deadly than Paris

POLICE foiled a more-deadly-than-Paris terror plot to blow up Manchester with an explosive-packed car and nine ‘shopping’ suicide bombers.

Naseer-477414

FOILED: Naseer had planned to attack the Arndale shopping centre on a busy shopping weekend

Counter terrorism cops swooped on the jihadi death squad just 48 hours before it was due to strike on an Easter bank holiday in a bid to kill hundreds and maim thousands.

The carnage would have begun with the detonation of a car bomb outside

Next at the city’s Arndale shopping centre – less than 100 yards from the scene of the 1996 IRA van bombing which injured 212.

CODED: This email is written in code and describes the date of the attack

Experts said it was potentially more deadly than the Friday the 13th attacks on the French capital earlier this month that killed at least 130.

Yesterday terror mastermind Abid Naseer, 28, was jailed for 40 years after being convicted of planning to bomb Manchester as part coordinated al-Qaida attacks on the New York subway and offices of a Copenhagen, Denmark, newspaper that had published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

ARTISTS IMPRESSION: A courtroom sketch of Naseer as he pleads not guilty

He was found guilty of three charges of providing material support to al-Qaida and conspiracy to use a destructive device following a trial at Brooklyn’s Federal Court after being extradited to the US from Britain.

Unbeknown to Naseer, who planned to martyr himself in the car bomb blast, he had been secretly monitored by 300 undercover officers for five months since he arrived in the UK from his native Pakistan on a student visa and took a job as a security guard.

Intelligence experts suspected he was linked to al-Qaida and kept watch until they grew convinced he was about to strike in April 2009 after he emailed a handler: “I wish you could be here for the party.”

After his arrest police recovered photos he had taken during reconnaissance trips of the Arndale’s entrances, exits and lifts.

During his trial prosecutors produced never-before seen documents seized from the 2011 raid in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden as part of their case.

MI5 officers who conducted surveillance on him testified anonymously wearing wigs and makeup to disguise their identities. Naseer denied any affiliation with al-Qaida or any plot telling jurors ‘terrorism is not compatible with Islam’.

But assistant US Attorney Zainab Ahmad branded him a ‘vengeful liar’ who used women’s names in emails as code for home-made bomb ingredients.

Nadia stood for ammonium nitrate and Huma for hydrogen peroxide. Ms Ahmad said had his Manchester plot succeeded it would have sent ‘glass shattering through the city centre piercing the hearts of Easter shoppers’.

During his trial prosecutors produced never-before seen documents seized from the 2011 raid in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden as part of their case.

MI5 officers who conducted surveillance on him testified anonymously wearing wigs and makeup to disguise their identities. Naseer denied any affiliation with al-Qaida or any plot telling jurors ‘terrorism is not compatible with Islam’.

But assistant US Attorney Zainab Ahmad branded him a ‘vengeful liar’ who used women’s names in emails as code for home-made bomb ingredients.

Nadia stood for ammonium nitrate and Huma for hydrogen peroxide. Ms Ahmad said had his Manchester plot succeeded it would have sent ‘glass shattering through the city centre piercing the hearts of Easter shoppers’.

DEATH TOLL: Experts estimate hundreds could have killed even more than the Paris attacks

“This man wanted to drive a car bomb into a crowded shopping centre and watch people die,” she said.

“If the defendant hadn’t been stopped hundreds of innocent men, women and children wouldn’t be alive today.”

Det Chief Supt Tony Mole, of Greater Manchester Police, said the attack ‘would have been comparable to 7/7’.

“He’s the real deal – recruited and trained by al-Qaida,” he said.

Nasser’s lawyer said he plans to appeal.

 

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