Nazam Hussain

Nazam Hussain was one of nine men arrested in England on December 20, 2010, in connection with an al-Qaeda-inspired plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange (LSE) on Christmas Eve. The group sought to launch a coordinated bomb-and-gun attack in the style of the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India.“Stoke terror sentences revised,” BBC News, April 16, 2013, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-22168422. Hussain pleaded guilty but was released early from his 16-year sentence in 2018. Police returned Hussain to prison in November 2019 after his LSE co-conspirator Usman Khan killed two in an attack near the London Bridge.David Mercer and Alix Culbertson, “Five minutes of terror: How the London Bridge attack unfolded,” Sky News, December 2, 2019, https://news.sky.com/story/how-the-london-bridge-terror-attack-unfolded-11874155.

Others involved in the LSE plot included Khan, Shah Rahman, Gurukanth Desai, Abdul Malik Miah, Mohammed Shahjahan, Mohibur Rahman, Omar Sharif Latif, and Mohammed Chowdhury.“Terrorism gang jailed for plotting to blow up London Stock Exchange,” Telegraph (London), February 9, 2012, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/9072455/Terrorism-gang-jailed-for-plotting-to-blow-up-London-Stock-Exchange.html. Hussain and some of the others involved met through Islam4UK, an Islamist offshoot of the banned British Islamist network al-Muhajiroun led by Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri Mohammed. Others met while preaching in London street stalls about radical Islam.Dominic Casciani, “Stock Exchange plotters: Fantasists or a threat?,” BBC News, February 9, 2012, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-16953938.

Hussain and other LSE plotters had Choudary’s phone number stored in their phones at the time of their arrests.“Terrorism gang jailed for plotting to blow up London Stock Exchange,” Telegraph (London), February 9, 2012, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/9072455/Terrorism-gang-jailed-for-plotting-to-blow-up-London-Stock-Exchange.html. Choudary admitted that several of the plotters were his students but told British media that police had taken their conversations “out of context.”Dominik Lemanski, “Bomb plotters are my students, admits Choudary,” Daily Star (London), February 5, 2012, https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/bomb-plotters-students-admits-choudary-18512705.

Hussain and other members also drew inspiration from deceased al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki and looked to AQAP’s Inspire magazine for instructions on building pipe bombs.“London Stock Exchange terror bomb plot was ‘amateurish,’” BBC News, February 8, 2012, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-16951623. The plotters were reportedly concerned about whether Islam allowed for the use of violence. Ultimately, Awlaki’s lectures provided them with the justification they sought.Dominic Casciani, “Stock Exchange plotters: Fantasists or a threat?,” BBC News, February 9, 2012, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-16953938.

While planning the LSE attack, Hussain sought to raise money with co-conspirators Shahjahan and Khan to set up a terror-training camp for British Muslims on land owned by Khan’s family in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. All three lived in the English city of Stoke-on-Trent and formed their own cohort within the larger group. According to the judge at their trial, the three from Stoke considered themselves to be more serious jihadists than the others in the group.Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden, “RPT-The al Qaeda-inspired 28-year-old militant who launched London Bridge attack,” Reuters, December 2, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/britain-security-attacker/rpt-the-al-qaeda-inspired-28-year-old-militant-who-launched-london-bridge-attack-idUSL8N28C0OF.

The group considered targeting Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and the London Eye.“Terrorism gang jailed for plotting to blow up London Stock Exchange,” Telegraph (London), February 9, 2012, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/9072455/Terrorism-gang-jailed-for-plotting-to-blow-up-London-Stock-Exchange.html; Randeep Ramesh and Peter Walker, “Gunmen run amok in Mumbai terror attack killing and injuring hundreds,” Guardian (London), November 27, 2008, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/nov/27/india-terrorist-attacks-mumbai. They began planning the attack in November 2010 and intended to target the LSE on Christmas Eve, even though the stock exchange would be closed.“Stoke terror sentences revised,” BBC News, April 16, 2013, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-22168422. Witnesses during the trial called the plot amateurish and unlikely to succeed.“London Stock Exchange terror bomb plot was ‘amateurish,’” BBC News, February 8, 2012, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-16951623.

Hussain and his co-conspirators pleaded guilty to preparation for acts of terrorism on January 31, 2012. On February 7, Hussain received an Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) indeterminate sentence with a minimum of eight years. The open sentence gave the parole board authority to determine the length of Hussain’s imprisonment based on whether he still presented a threat.“Usman Khan and others -v- R,” Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, April 16, 2013, https://www.judiciary.uk/judgments/usman-khan-others-v-r-judgment/. The United Kingdom abolished IPP sentences later in 2012 and Hussain appealed his sentence.Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden, “RPT-The al Qaeda-inspired 28-year-old militant who launched London Bridge attack,” Reuters, December 2, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/britain-security-attacker/rpt-the-al-qaeda-inspired-28-year-old-militant-who-launched-london-bridge-attack-idUSL8N28C0OF. The U.K. Court of Appeal overturned the sentence in April 2013 and ordered Hussain to serve a fixed-term sentence of a minimum of 16 years, of which he would have to serve at least eight. Khan and Shahjahan also received revised sentences.“Stoke terror sentences revised,” BBC News, April 16, 2013, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-22168422.

Like Khan, Hussain had been released early in 2018.David Mercer and Alix Culbertson, “Five minutes of terror: How the London Bridge attack unfolded,” Sky News, December 2, 2019, https://news.sky.com/story/how-the-london-bridge-terror-attack-unfolded-11874155. Shahjahan also received an early release. The three reportedly lived less than 20 miles from each other in Staffordshire, England, under police-imposed restrictions.Neil Johnston, Fariha Karim, and Francis Elliott, “London Bridge attacker Usman Khan was allowed to live near plotters,” The Times (London), December 7, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/london-bridge-attacker-usman-khan-was-allowed-to-live-near-plotters-nc6s09kpq. On November 29, 2019, Khan killed two and wounded three in an attack on Fishmongers’ Hall near the London Bridge.David Mercer and Alix Culbertson, “Five minutes of terror: How the London Bridge attack unfolded,” Sky News, December 2, 2019, https://news.sky.com/story/how-the-london-bridge-terror-attack-unfolded-11874155. The following day police arrested Hussain and returned him to prison for a suspected breach of his parole conditions under suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.David Mercer and Alix Culbertson, “Five minutes of terror: How the London Bridge attack unfolded,” Sky News, December 2, 2019, https://news.sky.com/story/how-the-london-bridge-terror-attack-unfolded-11874155.

Currently, British law allows for convicts serving fixed-term sentences to be released halfway through the term and complete the remainder of the sentence on home arrest under specific conditions.“Leaving Prison,” Gov.UK, accessed December 5, 2019, https://www.gov.uk/leaving-prison. British leaders questioned Khan’s early release and sought a review of 74 convicts who received early conditional releases.“Boris Johnson says 74 terror prisoners released early,” BBC News, December 1, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-50618744. Choudary was also released early in October 2018 with communications and travel restrictions. Officials called for an “urgent” review of Choudary’s conditions following the London Bridge attack.Robert Mendick, Martin Evans, and Charles Hymas, “Anjem Choudary’s licence under ‘urgent’ review in wake of London Bridge attack,” Telegraph (London), December 2, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/02/anjem-choudary-have-licence-conditions-reviewed-emerges-met/.

 
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