Rowaida El-Hassan

Rowaida El-Hassan is attempted domestic terrorist convicted in January 2018 for helping Munir Mohammed to prepare a terrorist act in the United Kingdom in the name of ISIS. El-Hassan, a London-based pharmacist, met Mohammed on a Muslim dating site and used her chemical expertise to advise him on how to prepare poisons and explosives. At the time of their December 2016 arrest, Mohammed had two of the three materials needed to make the explosive chemical TATP in his apartment.“Couple guilty of homemade bomb terror attack plot,” BBC News, January 8, 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-derbyshire-42607043.

El-Hassan was born into a moderately wealthy family in Sudan.Dominic Casciani, “Derby terror plot: The online Casanova and his lover,” BBC News, January 8, 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42370025. She came to the United Kingdom legally as a child.“Couple guilty of homemade bomb terror attack plot,” BBC News, January 8, 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-derbyshire-42607043. She graduated from University College London with a master’s degree in pharmacy and lived in North London.“Couple planned terror attack after meeting on dating site, court hears,” Guardian (London), October 30, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/oct/30/terror-attack-couple-dating-site-court-hears-munir-mohammed-rowaida-el-hassan.

El-Hassan met Mohammed Munir, an Eritrean-born man living in Derby, on a Muslim dating site. The pair began to communicate over WhatsApp and Facebook. Beginning in April 2016, Mohamed shared with her at least seventeen violent propaganda videos, including ISIS videos that depicted children conducting executions, suicide bombings, and British citizen Mohammed Emwazi a.k.a. “Jihadi John,” carrying out a beheading. El-Hassan reportedly requested that he send her more videos, and sent him back news articles about ISIS attacks and similar propaganda advocating for jihad against non-Muslims.Toby Bradford, “Gruesome details of ISIS videos ‘shared’ by alleged Derby terror plotter are revealed in court,” Derby Telegraph (Derby), November 6, 2017, http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/gruesome-details-isis-videos-shared-737417; Isaac Crowson, “Derby terrorist Munir Mohammed planned to attack ‘enemies of the Islamic State,’” Derby Telegraph (Derby), January 8, 2018, http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/derby-terrorist-munir-mohammed-planned-1029215; Dominic Casciani, “Derby terror plot: The online Casanova and his lover,” BBC News, January 8, 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42370025. The two met in person sometime during the spring at a park near El-Hassan’s home.Lizzie Dearden, “Isis-supporting coupled planned Christmas terror attack after meeting on online dating site,” Independent (London), January 8, 2018, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/isis-christmas-terror-attack-plot-couple-derby-explosives-old-bailey-bomb-ricin-online-dating-muslim-a8148061.html.

Using El-Hassan’s chemical expertise, the pair began to plot a domestic attack in the United Kingdom.Isaac Crowson, “Derby terrorist Munir Mohammed planned to attack ‘enemies of the Islamic State,’” Derby Telegraph (Derby), January 8, 2018, http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/derby-terrorist-munir-mohammed-planned-1029215; “Couple guilty of homemade bomb terror attack plot,” BBC News, January 8, 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-derbyshire-42607043. In July 2016, Mohammed allegedly began to investigate making the poison ricin with the help of El-Hassan.Dominic Casciani, “Derby terror plot: The online Casanova and his lover,” BBC News, January 8, 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42370025. The two reportedly tried to build a pressure cooker-bomb, and at one point, Mohammed sent El-Hassan a 24-page document via WhatsApp on the manufacturing of explosives.Toby Bradford, “Gruesome details of ISIS videos ‘shared’ by alleged Derby terror plotter are revealed in court,” Derby Telegraph (Derby), November 6, 2017, http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/gruesome-details-isis-videos-shared-737417; “Couple guilty of homemade bomb terror attack plot,” BBC News, January 8, 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-derbyshire-42607043. At the time of their arrest in December 2016, Mohammed was found to be in possession of two of the three materials needed to make TATP and instruction manuals on how to prepare explosives, cell phone detonators, and the poison ricin. He had bought at least some of the necessary materials from a drugstore based on El-Hassan’s instructions.“Couple planned terror attack after meeting on dating site, court hears,” Guardian (London), October 30, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/oct/30/terror-attack-couple-dating-site-court-hears-munir-mohammed-rowaida-el-hassan; Dominic Casciani, “Derby terror plot: The online Casanova and his lover,” BBC News, January 8, 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42370025; Lizzie Dearden, “Isis-supporting coupled planned Christmas terror attack after meeting on online dating site,” Independent (London), January 8, 2018, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/isis-christmas-terror-attack-plot-couple-derby-explosives-old-bailey-bomb-ricin-online-dating-muslim-a8148061.html.

On January 8, 2018, El-Hassan was convicted of preparing acts of terrorism between November 2015 and December 2016.“Couple guilty of homemade bomb terror attack plot,” BBC News, January 8, 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-derbyshire-42607043.

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