A couple are on trial, accused of plotting a terror bombing, after they met each other on a Muslim dating site.
The pair found each other on the dating website SingleMuslim.com, and soon discovered that they shared the same radical views. It wasn’t long before the two, Munir Hassan Mohammed and Rowaida El-Hassan, decided to detonate a bomb in a public place in the London area.
Mohammed reportedly became radicalized trough an ISIS commander he met on Facebook. He went on the site hoping to find a wife, and found a co-conspirator instead. The woman he met, El-Hassan, is a chemical expert with a Master’s degree in Pharmacy from University College in London. She had the knowledge necessary to build a bomb, and she found a boyfriend who wanted to blow one up for Islam. British officials arrested them before they could carry out an attack.
Their online courtship included sharing videos to each other of ISIS radicals beheading prisoners.
By the spring of 2016 he was in regular contact with El-Hassan, a qualified pharmacist, who was looking for “a man who fears Allah before anything else”.
The pair shared gruesome videos of IS fighters beheading prisoners and recruiting children on WhatsApp as their online romance blossomed, jurors heard.
Prosecutor Anne Whyte, QC, said: “Munir Mohammed appears to have met Rowaida El-Hassan, a qualified pharmacist, through a Muslim dating website.
“Their communications with each other demonstrated an emotional attachment and a shared extremist ideology.
“They exchanged materials and views at the time, we say, Mohammed was planning to perform an attack of his own, motivated and inspired by what he had seen and heard on social media.”
They are jointly charged with an offence under section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 – preparation of terrorist acts.’
Counter terror officers found bomb manuals and instructions for ricin and mobile phone detonators when they raided Mohammed’s Derby home on 12 December last year, it is said.
They also discovered 200ml of hydrogen peroxide and 500ml of hydrochloric acid – two of the components needed to make an unstable explosive.
When another team raided El-Hassan’s home in Willesden, northwest London, on the same day they found a 1 litre bottle of drain cleaner which contained Sulphuric acid at 91 per cent purity – another explosive component.
Ms Whyte said: “Both of them possessed material useful to someone wishing to manufacture improvised explosive devices – devices that are designed to injure or kill in an indiscriminate way.
“Both of them had also been in possession of videos which gruesomely and variously depicted the murder, sometimes multiple murder of prisoners in the custody of an organisation, familiar to you as Islamic State.
“These videos were designed to provide ideological justification for such acts of violence.”
The court heard Mohammed had been radicalised after speaking to a Facebook contact called Abubakr Kurdi, a suspected IS commander who has celebrated terrorist atrocities in Nice, Normandy and Orlando and called for lone wolf attacks throughout the world.
Ms Whyte continued: “In his communications with Kurdi, Munir Mohammed pledged his obedience to Kurdi and therefore by implication to IS.