UK: Five charged over ‘Isis plot for drive-by police shooting’

Five men were charged today in connection with an alleged Islamic State plot to carry out a drive-by gun attack against a Metropolitan police officer.

Four of the men are said to have sworn allegiance to the so-called Islamic State and to have planned to use a moped to carry out the shooting on the streets of London.

Police across the country were warned last week to increase their personal vigilance because of the heightened terror threat.

Today’s charges follow a series of armed counter-terrorism raids across London last week and the recovery last month of a handgun, silencer and ammunition.

Three of those charged were classmates together at a Christian secondary school who have gone on to study at university.

Scotland Yard said that four men had been charged under the Terrorism Act 2006 and a fifth faced firearms charges.

The men facing terror charges are: Tarik Hassane, 21, a medical student at university in Sudan; Suhaib Majeed, 20, a physics student at King’s College London; Momem Motasim, 21; and Nyal Hamlett, 24.

The Yard outlined in detail the conduct the men are said to have engaged in between July and October “with the intention of committing acts of terrorism”.

They are accused of having taken an oath of allegiance to Islamic State, which is a banned organisation under British anti-terror laws.

It is also alleged that they gave instructions on and set up methods of secure communication through which they entered into covert discussions.

They are accused of demonstrating terrorist “tradecraft” by using codewords as they discussed buying a firearm and a moped. A Baikal, a Russian-made handgun, and six rounds of ammunition are alleged to have been acquired and stored.

The charge states that they downloaded a fatwa from an Islamic State spokesman, Abu Mohammed Al-Adnani, urging the group’s followers in the West to carry out attacks on whatever targets they chose.

It is alleged that the group shared Instagram photographs of two Met officers and two police community support officers and conducted “hostile reconnaissance” using Google Street view of Shepherds Bush police station and White City Territorial Army barracks.

Two copies of Inspire magazine, produced by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, were found, and a copy of the Islamic State magazine Dabiq featuring graphic images of the murder of the American journalist Steven Sotloff.

The four men will appear at Westminster magistrates’ court today, together with Nathan Cuffy, 25, who is charged with supplying the handgun and ammunition, with a silencer, to Mr Hamlett.

Another man, 20, and a woman, 19, were released from custody. The police investigation into the alleged plot is continuing.

(Photo: Tarik Hassane: charged under the Terrorism Act)