MI5 sting on ‘Three Musketeers terror gang’ finds pipe bomb & meat cleaver

MI5 sting on ‘Three Musketeers terror gang’ finds pipe bomb & meat cleaver
A joint MI5-police sting operation against an alleged Birmingham terrorist cell dubbed the Three Musketeers found a pipe bomb and meat cleaver which authorities say were to be used in an attack.

The case is currently being heard at the Old Bailey with four defendants accused of plotting an attack.

Naweed Ali, Khobaib Hussain, Mohibur Rahman and Tahir Aziz deny the charges.

They were arrested after police and MI5 set up a fake courier company called ‘Hero Couriers’ between July and August 2016.

The false firm had its own warehouse, badges, logos and staff.The undercover officer who played the manager operated under the pseudonym ‘Vincent’.

As part of his role, ‘Vincent’ offered the suspects jobs on zero-hour contracts at a rate of £100 (US$124) per day.

The suspects would arrive at the warehouse and hand their own car keys to ‘Vincent’, who would helpfully offer to park their personal vehicles inside the warehouse citing a lack of free parking in the area.

The suspects would then take a company van during work hours, unaware their cars were being searched in the warehouse.

Ali’s vehicle was found to have a sports bag containing a pipe bomb and meat cleaver inscribed with the word ‘kaffir’ – Arabic for infidel.

The materials triggered a series of raids across the Midlands which saw the defendants arrested.

Police produced a complex timeline of text and social media messages in which the group allegedly debated the merits of various jihadi groups in Syria.

They appeared to favor one of the Al-Qaeda-linked groups operating in the country.Ali’s barrister, Stephen Kamlish said his client had insisted to police after his arrest that “he had never seen it [the bag], never touched it.

It wasn’t in his car … He’s essentially saying somebody else planted it in his car.

No DNA match for any of the four defendants has been made with that bag or any of its contents,” Kamlish added.

The case continues.