Judiciary of england and wales: r v khalid ali - 20 july 2018 at old bailey
- 2010 - 2018
- United Kingdom
Identification of the Source
Judiciary of England and Wales: R v Khalid Ali - 20 July 2018 at Old Bailey
KeywordsIslamic terrorism, Houses of Parliament, Anti-British and American troops.
Type of Crime
Terror-related crime (TN)/ Serious and Organised Crime (OC) - Khalid Ali - an individual whose ideology is considered to be Islamic Extreme violence and had planned to carry out a vicious knife attack in London that could have injured many and endangered life. He also admitted to police of working as a Taliban bomb-maker in Afghanistan targeting US-led forces as well as Afghan security personnel. He was also found guilty of engaging in terrorist acts at home and abroad and posed clearly a danger to the public in the UK and elsewhere.
Count 1: Possession of an explosive substance with intent, contrary to section 3(1)(b) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883.
Count 2: Possession of an explosive substance with intent, contrary to section 3(1)(b) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883.
Count 3: Preparation of terrorist acts, contrary to section 5(1)(a) of the Terrorism Act 2006.
Type of attack
Sentencing, Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC handed XX three life sentences.
He gave a minimum of 40 years for making IEDs for the Taliban in 2012 and 25 years for the plot to kill in Britain and attract “maximum publicity and instil terror”.
He said: “I am absolutely sure you were in Afghanistan. You were a valued member of a team making IEDs that were detonated in combat between January and July 2012.
“I have no doubt whatsoever that there is a very considerable risk of your committing offences of violence in the future and cause death or serious injury as a result. I’m sure your plan was to attack and kill someone in central London.
“Your preparations were complete, and you very simply had to identify your precise target and his or her death was very likely to be caused by a knife attack. You would kill any police officer you could.”
The primary modus operandi was the use of an eight-inch chef's knife and two 3.5 inch paring knives. This modus operandi was copied from Islamic extremist attacks that happened across Europe in the UK, France and Germany for example.
XX, was born to an Ethiopian mother and Somali father in Saudi Arabia, to which the family moved to escape civil war in Ethiopia and from where – in 1992 – they came to the UK. (Perpetrator)
A Taliban bomb-maker was found guilty of planning a stabbing attack in Westminster just four weeks after the UK suffered its first ISIS-inspired terror attack. Khalid Ali was armed with three knives when police tackled him to the ground in front of terrified tourists in Whitehall, just metres from Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament. Prosecutor Brian Altman QC said on the day XX was sentenced that the 28-year-old defendant aimed to launch a “deadly terror attack to strike at the very heart of this country’s democracy, by killing a police officer, a member of the military or even a parliamentarian”.
Ali appeared to commit himself to developing a professional career. As a result, Ali trained as a gas fitter and plumber at college and started working for his brother’s business. Ali did not demonstrate any particular sign of instability and radicalisation that would trigger a concern either for his family or the security services. It was reported by his family that Ali started to wear Islamic attire, grow a beard and frequently attend a mosque in early 2010.
Finally, Khalid Ali, 28, was arrested just moments from carrying out a deadly attack armed with an eight-inch chef's knife and two 3.5 inch paring knives by terror cops near the Houses of Parliament.
He was sentenced at the Old Bailey to three life sentences with a minimum of 40 years behind bars.
Influential and/or vulnerable Groups
The case of XX is one of the many very high profile extreme-Islamist and ISIS-inspired terrorist style attacks and murders that the UK has experienced over the past five years. In a similar manner to the other Islamic/ ISIS-inspired plots of knife attacks on members of the public including "first all-female ISIS terror cell" (XX, 22; XX, 44; XX, 18) and XX, 54 demonstrated a sustained period of undergoing radicalisation. These cases all demonstrate that while XX appeared to have acted in relative isolation to other individuals had a strong sense of affiliation with Islamic terrorist groups particularly al-Qaeda and the Taliban. As mentioned above, XX had uploaded large quantities of extreme Islamic songs and propaganda onto his phone to which he listened for many years.
XX's radicalisation process is pretty complex, and mainly took place online. XX was found to have uploaded religious/ ideological speeches and songs and listened to them - that spanned many years. Initially, Ali was reported missing and did not contact his family for five years. During subsequent inquiries, a laptop from his bedroom was found to contain speeches by the al-Qaeda ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki encouraging people to engage in military jihad.
In 2010, XX travelled on the "road to hope" convoy to Gaza, which was supported by XX and the following year he travelled to Afghanistan.
While staying out of contract with his family, XX went to Afghanistan to join the Taliban. It was confirmed that XX made 300 home-made bombs in Afghanistan. US forensics identified 37 of his fingerprints on IED fragments the following month and he was placed under surveillance by MI5 operatives.
In mid-2012, XX discontinued his contact with his family for five years and was eventually reported as missing. From July 2012 until 2016, XX voluntarily remained in conflict zones either planning training for or engaging in violent acts again motivated by the same extreme ideology.
XX returned to the UK in 2016 and by that time he confirmed that he was an active and committed terrorist. Four months before his arrest, the FBI had matched his fingerprints to two caches of explosives recovered by Afghan forces in 2012, but police said they waited to arrest XX until the “most appropriate time”.
In an interview with officers, XX said he wanted to deliver a message to British leaders telling them to leave “Muslim lands”, destroy the state of Israel and release prisoners of war. He was a determined terrorist and during his interrogation, he reiterated to police officers that he "would consider himself as a mujahid [Islamic warrior],” adding “Jihad is what we do… and I am here to let you know the reason why I have come with the message, for you to make the right decisions, if not… we have a lot of time. UK is next on the list.” XX declared his loyalty to the Taliban and told the police officers how he made bombs and “pressed the button” more than 300 times in attacks targeting American and British soldiers spanning five years.
Moreover, a phone XX dumped in the Thames shortly before his arrest was found to contain Islamic songs that prosecutors said he listened to for inspiration while planning his attack.
Therefore, it may be argued that XX was not a member of a vulnerable group, due to his skills and qualification he acquired through his trainings as a plumber and the subsequent job he obtained in his brother's business. The investigation also revealed that XX lived with his family and did not display any sign of mental health problems of depression, and/ or effects of alcohol abuse. XX did not have any criminal history, and as such, it could be argued that the sole factors that drove XX to radicalisation included religious affiliations he developed with Islamic terrorist, and which could have been triggered by social, economic, and cultural agonies.