Islamists Admit Stock Exchange Bomb Plot

Four radical Islamists have admitted planning an al Qaeda-inspired plot to detonate bombs at the London Stock Exchange and other targets.

The group also planned to send five bombs through the post to various targets in the run up to Christmas 2010 and discussed carrying out a "Mumbai-style" attack, referring to a raid in 2008 that left 166 people dead.

A hand-written target list found at one of the defendant's homes listed the names and addresses of London Mayor Boris Johnson , two rabbis, the US Embassy and the Stock Exchange .

The men, along with five others who admitted a variety of terrorist offences, will be sentenced next week.

The nine defendants were not members of al Qaeda but were inspired by the terrorist network and its former Yemeni leader, US-born Anwar al Awlaki , who was killed in a drone strike last year.

Andrew Edis QC, for the prosecution, said the men "were implementing the published strategy of AQAP (Al Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula)".

The bomb plot was stopped by undercover detectives before firm dates for the attacks were set or any homemade bombs were produced.

Mohammed Chowdhury, 21, of Tower Hamlets and Shah Rahman, 28, of Newham, both London, admitted preparing for acts of terrorism by planning to plant an improvised explosive device (IED) in the toilets of the Stock Exchange.

The two men had been followed by undercover detectives as they observed Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and the Palace of Westminster in November 2010.

Cardiff-based brothers Gurukanth Desai, 30, and Abdul Miah, 25, admitted the same count.

Chowdhury's barrister, Christopher Blaxland QC, said the four men had aimed to plant the bomb "without any intention to cause death or even injury but with the intention to terrorise, damage property and to cause economic damage".

Three men from Stoke admitted a lesser charge - engaging in conduct for the preparation of terrorism between November 1 and December 21, 2010 - travelling to and attending operational meetings, fundraising for terrorist training, preparing to travel abroad and assisting others in travelling abroad.

Usman Khan, 20, Mohammed Shahjahan 27, and Nazam Hussain, 26, attended those operational meetings in Roath Park, Cardiff, on November 7 and in a Newport country park on December 12.

Omar Latif, 28, of Cardiff, admitted attending the meetings with the intention of assisting others to prepare or commit acts of terrorism.

A fourth defendant from Stoke, Mohibur Rahman, admitted possessing an article for a terrorist purpose on December 20, 2010.

He was found to have copies of the al Qaeda magazine Inspire, which included an article on how to "Make A Bomb In The Kitchen Of Your Mom".

As well attacks on London, the four men from Stoke also discussed leaving explosive devices in the toilets of the city's pubs and travelling abroad for terrorist training.