‘Drive-by plotter’ downloaded jihadist software, court hears

DRIVE BY _87790001_mopedplot_cps

Clockwise from top left – Tarik Hassane, Suhaib Majeed, Nathan Cuffy and Nyall Hamlett

One of the four men accused of plotting “drive-by” shootings downloaded software to allow jihadists to exchange secret messages, a court has heard.

Suhaib Majeed, 21, had “Mujahideen Secrets” on his laptop, the jury heard.

Mr Majeed, along with Nathan Cuffy, 26, Nyall Hamlett, 25, and Tarik Hassane, 22, from west London, deny conspiracy to murder and preparing terrorist acts.

It is alleged they were inspired by the Islamic State group and plotted to kill a police officer, soldier or civilian.

The Old Bailey heard that Mr Majeed liaised via Skype, the internet-based communication software, with someone overseas who helped him download the software, which the prosecution said was designed for Islamist terrorists to exchange encrypted messages.

The contact abroad told Mr Majeed to “stay sharp” but unknown to either of them he was already under surveillance by counter-terrorism officers, the court was told.

The prosecution says Mr Majeed and fellow defendant Mr Hassane were in frequent contact about how to cover their tracks using false names and addresses and a variety of SIM cards.

The jury also saw evidence they had set up a code to share new phone numbers but Mr Majeed did not fully understand it, leading to a string of abusive messages from Mr Hassane.

Nike trainers

Coded messages were used on Twitter to discuss getting a gun, the court heard.

While Mr Hassane, a medical student, was in Casablanca in Morocco, he exchanged direct messages on the microblogging site with Mr Majeed about sourcing “creps” or “black Huaraches”.

Prosecutor Brian Altman QC told jurors that would ordinarily be a reference to a certain brand of Nike trainer, but in their secret language they meant firearms.

Days later, on 25 August 2014, Mr Majeed reported back “I got it”, to which Mr Hassane replied “kl” (cool).

Court sketch of defendants

Court sketch of the accused: Tarik Hassane, Suhaib Majeed, Nyall Hamlett and Nathan Cuffy (from left) deny the charges

Mr Hassane was alleged to have been leading the plot and to have issued instructions to Mr Majeed, who was studying physics at King’s College London at the time of his arrest, the court has heard.

Jurors have also heard that by the time three of the gang were arrested in September 2014, they had a gun and ammunition and were discussing buying an untraceable scooter.

Mr Hassane, who was studying in Sudan, returned to the UK to carry on as a “lone wolf terrorist” but was arrested by police in early October 2014, the trial heard.

Using Google Streetview photo-mapping service, he had allegedly identified Shepherd’s Bush police station and the Parachute Regiment Territorial Army Barracks at White City as possible targets.

Mr Majeed, Mr Cuffy and Mr Hamlett are also charged with various firearms offences.

The trial continues.


source: BBC NEWS

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