Page last updated at 13:49 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 14:49 UK

Jail for 'suicide vest' student

Isa Ibrahim experimenting at his home

A student has been jailed for a minimum of 10 years for plotting to blow himself up using his own "suicide vest" and home-made explosives.

Isa Ibrahim, from Bristol, was convicted at Winchester Crown Court of making explosives with intent and preparing terrorist acts in April 2008.

He had denied both charges but pleaded guilty to a third charge of making an explosive substance.

Prosecutors said Ibrahim had planned to set off the blast in a shopping centre.

Police said the case was a landmark one because it was the first time a tip-off from the Muslim community had led to a major anti-terrorism arrest.

He was given an indeterminate sentence, with the judge saying he should serve a minimum of 10 years.

Det Supt Nigel Rock: "We will never know what the consequences would have been"

Mr Justice Butterfield told Ibrahim that, even though he had not made a detonation device or completed the suicide vest, "your preparation to inflict an atrocity on the innocent civilians of Bristol were advanced".

"You are a dangerous young man, well capable of acting on the views you held in the spring of 2008," he said.

He said he considered Ibrahim to be a "continuing danger" to the public but gave a substantial discount on the minimum term imposed because he had acted alone and because of his age.

"You were, in my judgment, a lonely and angry young person at the time of these events, with a craving for attention," said the judge.

He had all the things he needed to make a viable explosive device. He was dangerous.
Det Supt Nigel Rock

Police found a quantity of home-made high explosive HMTD, the same substance used in the 7 July attacks, in a container in the fridge of Ibrahim's home when he was arrested.

They also discovered an electrical circuit capable of detonating the explosive at short range and a half-made "suicide vest".

The prosecution said the Muslim convert was preparing to carry out a terrorist attack on the Broadmead shopping centre in Bristol, where he had been seen doing reconnaissance.

Prosecutors said he became increasingly radicalised after converting to Islam, developing a "mindset of martyrdom" and changing his name from Andrew to Isa.

He also researched fundamentalism on the internet and searched online for techniques to manufacture explosives from household products.

Ibrahim had told the trial that he made explosives and "suicide vests" because it was "fun" and he was trying to "occupy time" while he struggled to beat an addiction to drugs.

Moira Macmillan, of the Crown Prosecution Service

He said he was "planning to set off an explosion but not hurt people".

Det Supt Nigel Rock of Avon and Somerset Police, said it was a landmark case as the initial information came from the Muslim community.

"We will never know what the consequences would have been had the community not had the courage to contact the police.

"But what we do know is that Ibrahim had all the components for a credible explosive device, he had increased the destructive power of that device the night before his arrest by obtaining shrapnel to add to it.

"He had made a suicide vest and built the means of detonation. Finally he had identified a busy shopping centre in Bristol as his target.

"The jury found he meant to detonate that bomb, intending to cause serious harm. There is no doubt people would have been killed."

In a statement following the verdict the Council of Bristol Mosques said its members condemned "in the strongest terms any act of facet of terrorism or extremism".

"We stress that at all times we must behave honourably and as law-abiding citizens. We believe strongly in community ties and community cohesion. Anything falling below these standards is morally and socially unacceptable," it said.



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