LONDON: A man who unwittingly told covert police officers of his plans to launch a terrorist attack, and his sister who kept the plans secret, have today, Monday 10 February, been convicted following a six-and-a-half-month counter terrorism investigation, Met has reported.
Sentencing of the Chowdhurys is scheduled to take place on 13 March at Woolwich Crown Court. The Court heard how Mohuissunnath Chowdhury, 28, of Luton, confided his aspirations to men he thought were his friends, but who were in fact brave covert officers deployed as part of a Met Police Counter Terrorism Command investigation into his activities.
He was also recorded at home telling his sister Sneha Chowdhury, 25, of Luton, that he was “doing another attack”, and asking her for help to practise stabbing people – alarming information which Sneha Chowdhury did not report to police.
The Met Police Counter Terrorism Command launched an investigation – supported by the UK security service and Eastern Region Special Operations Unit – into Mohuissunnath Chowdhury’s activities after he began posting disturbing messages online, within days of his acquittal in relation to a separate charge of attack planning.
Counter terrorism detectives identified that soon after being released from remand in December 2018, following his acquittal, Mohuissunnath Chowdhury began posting messages online that demonstrated his extremist mind-set. By the end of January 2019, he had bought a replica gun, which suggested to police that he could be planning a terrorist attack.
Covert police officers were deployed to befriend Mohuissunnath Chowdhury, so they could find out what he was planning and determine how serious his intent was.
An unsuspecting Mohuissunnath Chowdhury not only confessed to officers that he was considering targeting crowded central-London tourist attractions and the Pride in London event, but even sought advice on obtaining a real gun from a covert officer using the name ‘Mikael’.
He thought Mikael shared his aspirations to murder innocent people and told the officer that, contrary to his claims of innocence in his previous trial, he had in fact intended to kill soldiers but succeeded in “deceiving” the jury who found him not guilty.
Having gathered a wealth of evidence that proved the Chowdhurys’ guilt, detectives arrested the siblings together on 3 July 2019, days before Pride in London.
Speaking of Sneha Chowdhury’s conviction, Commander Smith said: “There is no acceptable reason for listening to someone say they are planning to kill innocent people, and watching them practise how they will do that, then not reporting it to police. Sneha Chowdhury wilfully kept her brother’s horrific secret and is now facing the consequences.
Anyone who has concerns that someone may be becoming radicalised, or who has concerns about suspicious behaviour, is urged to act by reporting it to police in confidence at https://act.campaign.gov.uk/ or by calling 0800 789 321.
Reporting won’t ruin lives, but it could save them. Action Counters Terrorism. Remember, in an emergency, always dial 999.