Birmingham & Black Country

Wife who bought knife for husband guilty over terror plot

Madihah Taheer in court

A woman who bought a combat knife and training dummy for her husband has been found guilty of helping him prepare for a planned terror attack in Birmingham.

Madihah Taheer, 21, from the city, denied preparing an act of terrorism by assisting her husband Ummariyat Mirza earlier this year.

Woolwich Crown Court heard the husband and wife team had developed their plans after falling in love as teenagers.

She has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.

In March, armed police arrested the husband at gunpoint in Birmingham.

They acted on MI5 intelligence that Mirza was going to carry out a rampaging knife attack, similar to those seen this year in London.

His arrest on 29 March came exactly one week after the Westminster Bridge terror attack in London.

The court was told the pair had initially hoped to travel to Syria to aid the Islamic State group - but decided to carry out an attack in their home city instead.

West Midlands counter-terror officers said they discovered a list of potential targets, including military sites in the area.

Taheer also allowed her debit card to be used to buy a plastic knife and a lifelike training dummy so that her husband could practise an attack, the court heard.

The dummy was found in their home with slash marks on the forehead, across the throat and abdomen.

Image copyright WMP
Image caption The court was shown the dummy Mirza made his wife buy, usually sold for use in martial arts

The jury at Woolwich Crown Court took less than a day to convict Taheer.

The jurors were shown a text message that Taheer sent to Mirza in September 2015, before the couple were married. "Can we get married already," she wrote. "I want u to kill ppl for me. I have a list."

The court was shown another message she sent to Mirza a month later, where Taheer said it was her "dream" to hurt or kill a person the pair both knew.

He responded by sending her a video of him making stabbing motions towards a chair - and asking her to buy him a knife.

Image copyright WMP
Image caption Mirza made Taheer return the first dummy she purchased as it was not the model he wanted

Mirza, a former accountant, pleaded guilty to the plotting charge earlier this month, and is also due to be sentenced.

His older sister, Zainub Mirza, pleaded guilty in October to sending him terrorist material, including a video showing an IS hostage being beheaded.

Sue Hemming, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said the messages showed Taheer was a "willing accomplice" who knew what the knife would be used for.

She said: "This couple posed a serious threat to the public in Britain and now face the prospect of time in prison where they will no longer be a danger."

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