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Internet dating couple jailed for plotting an Islamic State-inspired bomb or ricin attack at Christmas
From ITV News
Sudanese asylum seeker Munir Mohammed volunteered for a UK "lone wolf" mission in Facebook chat with an IS commander. He enlisted "strong-willed" pharmacist Rowaida El-Hassan to advise on chemicals for a bomb after they met on dating website SingleMuslim.com.
On arrest in December 2016, Mohammed had two of the three components for TATP explosives as well as manuals on how to make bombs and ricin poison.
But the bungling terrorist failed to get the final ingredient, buying acetone-free nail varnish in Asda by mistake days before his arrest.
Mohammed, 36, of Leopold Street, Derby, and mother-of-two El-Hassan, 33, of Willesden Lane, north-west London, were found guilty of preparing terrorist acts between November 2015 and December 2016.
Sentencing at the Old Bailey, Judge Michael Topolski QC jailed Mohammed for life with a minimum of 14 years.
El-Hassan, his "willing" and "enthusiastic" partner, was jailed for 12 years plus five years on extended licence.
The court heard that Mohammed arrived in Britain in the back of a lorry and claimed asylum in February 2014. He became "frustrated" at being kept in limbo for three years and appealed to Labour MP Margaret Beckett for help with his immigration problems. Using false identity documents, he worked at Kerry Foods in Derby, making sauces for supermarket ready meals, and wooing a potential British bride he met online.
He was drawn to University College London graduate El-Hassan's skills as a pharmacist. In turn, she was looked for a simple man to "vibe with on a spiritual and intellectual level", according to her dating profile. By the spring of 2016 the pair were in regular contact on WhatsApp and had met three times in a London park near El-Hassan's home.
The court heard that since her conviction, El-Hassan's two children had been taken to live in Sudan.