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Man convicted of taking bomb to hospital and planning attack on RAF base

Source: Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) published on this site Wednesday 3 July 2024 by Jill Powell

A student nurse who took a pressure cooker bomb to a hospital and planned a terrorist attack on an RAF base has been found guilty.

Mohammad Farooq

Mohammad Farooq, 28, was arrested outside the maternity ward of St James’s Hospital in Leeds on 20 January 2023 after showing a member of the public a gun and saying that he ‘felt like killing everyone’.

When police arrived, Farooq, a former student nurse at the hospital, told officers he had a bomb, and a subsequent search of his bag revealed a pressure cooker with wires attached.

Bomb disposal experts attended and confirmed the home-made explosive was a viable device. A Gediz 9mm P.A.K. semi-automatic pistol, discovered to be an imitation, was also discovered nearby.

Farooq’s car was located at the hospital and items including a quantity of nails, a knife, five plastic tubs containing low explosive mixture and a floorplan of four hospital wards were found.

Following his arrest, key electronic devices revealed significant evidence of Farooq’s interest in the ideology of radical Islam and Jihad, as well as his activities, including those relating to the manufacture of the explosive device, and of his attack planning.

Online searches of RAF Menwith Hill, an RAF base in North Yorkshire, were also made by Farooq and location data extracted from his phone revealed he was in the vicinity of the base on two occasions.

He denied his actions were a reconnaissance of the military site and for any terrorist purpose, but prosecutors were able to prove during trial that his interest went beyond internet research, and he was planning an attack.

Farooq was found guilty of preparing acts of terrorism by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court today.

He previously pleaded guilty to possession of an explosive substance with intent to endanger life, possession of an explosive substance in suspicious circumstances, possession of information likely to be useful to a terrorist, possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence, and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

The prosecution followed an investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East.

Farooq will be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on a date to be fixed.

Bethan David, head of the CPS Counter Terrorism Division, said:

“Farooq is an extremely dangerous individual who amassed a significant amount of practical and theoretical information that enabled him to produce a viable explosive device. He then took that homemade explosive device to a hospital where he worked with the intention to cause serious harm. Examination of his electronic devices revealed a hatred towards his colleagues at work and those he considered non-believers. It is clear from his internet searches that he was also conducting extensive research of RAF Menwith Hill, with a view to launching a potential attack. The extremist views Farooq holds are a threat to our society, and I am pleased the jury found him guilty of his crimes.”