26 June 2018
A British plumber has been convicted of planning a terror attack in Westminster and making bombs for the Taliban.
Khalid Ali, 28, was arrested in April 2017 in Parliament Street, where he was caught carrying three knives.
Prosecutors said Ali, from Edmonton in north London, had planned a “murderous attack” on politicians and police.
A jury convicted Ali of preparing an act of terrorism in the UK and two counts of possessing an explosive substance with intent.
Ali, who had recently returned from Afghanistan, will be sentenced on 20 July. He did not react as the verdicts were read out.
In late 2016, Ali’s DNA and fingerprints were shared with the FBI agents and 42 prints linked him to IEDs in Afghanistan.
On 22 April last year, he was caught on CCTV walking past the MI6 building at Vauxhall Cross, as well as Westminster Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and Whitehall.
Five days later, his mother called police and said she had found four knives in his bedroom.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon described Ali as an “incredibly dangerous individual”.
He said his conviction demonstrates “how close the UK counter-terrorism network works with partners and allies to bring to justice those seeking to harm others across the world”.
Prosecutor Brian Altman QC had told the jury that Ali planned a “deadly terror attack at the very heart of this country’s democracy by killing a police officer, a member of the military or even a parliamentarian”.
Ali travelled to Afghanistan in 2011. He did not ret
During questioning after his arrest, Ali admitted fighting British soldiers in Afghanistan, but refused to say whether he had killed any.
In a police interview shown during the trial, Ali also said he had detonated more than 300 bombs.
The court heard how his fingerprints were found on component parts of explosive devices that were handed in to US forces in Afghanistan in 2012.
Police said Ali had been in a “Taliban training camp affiliated to al-Qaeda where, for several years, he helped terrorists make hundreds of bombs capable of mass murder”.
urn to the UK until November 2016, when he was stopped at Heathrow airport, interviewed by police and his fingerprints and DNA samples were taken.
Defending the decision not to arrest Ali until April 2017 – when he was armed and within metres of Parliament – Mr Haydon said police and security services were “managing any potential risk he posed and he was arrested at the most appropriate time”.