UK Muslim convert gets 10 years for suicide plot
Muslim community tips off police about plot to blow up mall
A British student who converted to Islam was jailed for at least 10 years on Friday for plotting to blow up a shopping center using his own homemade "suicide vest."
Isa Ibrahim, 20, a student from Bristol in southwest England, was arrested in April last year after police received what they described as a "landmark" tip-off from a member of the local Muslim community.
Ibrahim denied both charges but admitted a third indictment of making an explosive substance, during the trial at Winchester Crown Court in southern England.
The student, who is also a drug addict, said he thought suicide bombing was wrong, telling the jury that he just wanted to set the vest off and film it for the website YouTube.
During a search of his home, police found a quantity of hexamethylene, triperoxide, diamine -- a high explosive that can be made from household ingredients and the same substance as used in the deadly London suicide bomb attacks of July 7, 2005.
Also found in his one-bedroom apartment was an electrical circuit capable of detonating the explosive as well as a half-made suicide vest.
Detectives said his intended target was a busy shopping center in Bristol.
"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, Justice Neil Butterfield, giving him an indeterminate jail sentence with a minimum of 10 years.
"You are a dangerous young man, well capable of acting on the views you held in the spring of 2008."
Winchester Crown Court heard the former private schoolboy turned to religion after being addicted to drugs and spent several months researching Islamist extremism on the Internet, including the motivation behind suicide attacks.
He also used the Internet to find instructions on how to make explosives from household products.
You were, in my judgment, a lonely and angry young person at the time of these events, with a craving for attention
The jury was told that he had described Britain as a "dirty toilet" and believed the Sept. 11 attacks were a justifiable response to U.S. and British aggression towards Muslims, the Press Association reported.
Ibrahim denied plotting a bomb attack and told the court he had become involved with explosives to get attention.
However, he was convicted of preparing terrorist acts, making explosives, carrying out "reconnaissance" before the act, and "making an improvised suicide vest in which to then detonate an explosive substance."
Detective Superintendent Nigel Rock, who led the investigation, said the fact a member of the Muslim community had provided the information was "hugely significant."
"The police and the public of Bristol owe a huge thank you to our Muslim community," he said.
"Ibrahim had all the credible 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."
The Council of Bristol Mosques said in a statement it believed strongly in community ties and cohesion.
The police and the public of Bristol owe a huge thank you to our Muslim community
Detective Superintendent Nigel Rock