Syrian asylum seeker planned to carry out terror attack with bomb made from sulphur
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A Syrian asylum seeker has been convicted of planning a terrorist attack in Denmark with a homemade bomb made of sulphur stripped from more than 17,000 matchsticks.
A Danish court has found the 32-year-old man guilty of ‘preparing for terrorism’ by planning to detonate one or more bombs in Copenhagen and then attack passersby with knives.
On November 19, 2016 – the man arrived in the Danish capital from Sweden, where he had arrived as an asylum seeker 2015.
He had planned to meet his accomplice, fellow Syrian citizen Dieab Khadigah, but the 21-year-old was detained by German police as he tried to cross the border into Denmark.
In his backpack they discovered 17,460 matches, fireworks, 17 batteries, two kitchen knives and six walkie-talkies as well as other components for the manufacture of bombs.
Instructions by al-Qaeda for making a bomb were found on the man’s phone.
‘My mission was to carry the bag to Copenhagen and leave it with a contact at the railway station,’ he told a German court.
Khadigah was convicted and sentenced to six and a half years in a German prison in July 2017.
The pair are thought to have been brought together over the internet by a mysterious intermediary.
Before that, the court heard, 32-year-old asylum seeker had been an active participant in the Syrian civil war.
Throughout his trial he maintained his innocence and rejected any allegiance or sympathies to ISIS, saying he downloaded films by the terrorist group, which police discovered on his computer, out of curiosity.
But three judges and six jurors dismissed his explanations after it emerged he had searched for and watched footage of several ISIS executions and posted multiple videos on social media that could be interpreted as goodbyes.
‘The defendant was in November 2016 an ISIS sympathizer; he was ready to commit jihad and be called a martyr,’ said the judge.
Investigators found he had initiated online conversations about martyrdom and conducted internet searches for the addresses of several embassies, which, according to the prosecutor, must be taken as searches for appropriate targets.
They also discovered he had travelled to Copenhagen central station on November 19, 2016, seemingly to meet with his accomplice to obtain the bomb components.
But he claimed this was an accident and he simply went too far on the train.
According to The Local, the man found not guilty of attempted arson on a Shia mosque in October 2017.
He was awarded 97,000 Swedish kronor (£8,000) in damages by a Swedish court after being held in pre-trial detention for four months.
But two months later he was arrested by Danish police on suspicion of planning to ‘randomly kill or hurt several people in an unknown location in Copenhagen’.
He is expected to be sentenced in late May.
During the case, bomb experts from Danish armed forces tested the would-be bomb using the al-Qaeda instruction manual.
They found that 17,000 matches could produce 237 grams of explosive sulphur – enough for small but potentially lethal blast that could strike people within a distance of 50 metres.
Source: Daily Mail