Two people who created an Islamic State (Isis)-inspired plot to murder police officers, soldiers and civilians during a series of drive-by shootings have been jailed for life. Tarik Hassane, 22, will serve a minimum of 21 years, with his co-conspirator Suhaib Majeed, 22, sentenced to at least 20 years on charges of conspiracy to murder and preparation of terrorist acts.
Medical student Hassane, dubbed The Surgeon, was found to have masterminded the plans to commit murders while driving mopeds through the streets on the UK and urged physics student Majeed to get guns and ammunition to commit the act.
However, Hassane, who was studying in Sudan at the time, travelled back to London on his own to carry out a “lone wolf” style attack, with Shepherd’s Bush police station and the Parachute Regiment Territorial Army Barracks at White City being his possible targets before he was arrested in September 2014.
Majeed was found guilty of conspiracy to murder and preparation of terrorist acts following trial while Hassane admitted the same charges midway through proceedings.
Upon sentencing at the Old Baley, Judge Justice Wilkie told the pair: “It is shocking, tragic and deplorable that you, two young British men, educated through the UK school system, undertaking university courses, should be so influenced by the bloodthirsty version of Islam presented by Isis and other similarly minded groups, that you decided to take up arms against your fellow British citizens and those charged with protecting them in the streets of your own city.
He added: “I have no doubt that, but for the intervention of the police and security services, whose vigilance and professionalism is highly to be commended, you would, within a short time, have pursued the conspiracy to its end by undertaking one or more murderous attacks in the way planned and intended by each of you.”
Met Police said following the arrest the pair were so “sufficiently advanced” in their plans they had acquired a handgun, a silencer and ammunition, had plans to get a moped and identify somewhere to store them before and following the attack.
Two other men, Nyall Hamlett, 25, and Nathan Cuffy, 26, also pleaded guilty to firearm offences after supplying the guns to Majeed and Hassane, but denied knowing what they were going to be used in the terror attack. Hamlett was given six-and-a-half years sentence, while Cuffy was jailed for 11 years.
Commander Dean Haydon, the head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “The lengthy sentences handed down reflect the seriousness of this terrorist plot. In this case terrorists used local criminals to acquire firearms and ammunition to commit a terrorist attack on the streets of London targeting the police, military or members of the public by means of a drive by shooting.
“I want to pay tribute to the security and intelligence agencies, counter terrorism officers, and the Trident and Area Crime Command who worked together to intervene early to disrupt the plot and protect the public from any acts of terrorism.”