South East Wales

Cardiff Muslim community condemns London Stock Exchange bomb plotters

Muslim leaders in Cardiff have vowed to stay vigilant after two brothers from the city admitted planning to detonate a bomb at the London Stock Exchange.

Al-Qaeda-inspired Gurukanth Desai, 30, and Abdul Miah, 25, pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism along with Mohammed Chowdhury and Shah Rahman from London.

Cardiff councillor Mohammed Sarul Islam said his community condemned extremism.

But he said some people "have been derailed and lost from the community".

Mr Islam said despite everyone's best intentions it was difficult to keep tabs on those who had already abandoned their links with mainstream Islam.

"They weren't coming to any community engagement or mosque," he told BBC Radio Wales.

Cultural education

Speaking about extremists in general, he said: "The only time they've been noticed was during the 2008 local elections when they came to the mosque and started distributing hatred leaflets and saying Muslims shouldn't vote, Muslims shouldn't be part of democracy.

"Immediately the mosque and the local community decided to ban them... saying you're not welcome here."

Mr Islam added that a major problem was keeping young Muslims who'd been sent to jail for minor offences out of the reach of extremists.

"When they go to prison, they get radicalised, targeted by clerics or Muslim chaplains," he said.

"They go inside for petty crimes, and they don't get proper cultural education."

Five other men, including one from Cardiff, have pleaded guilty to other terrorism offences.

Omar Latif, 28, of Neville Street, Cardiff, admitted attending meetings with the intention of assisting others to prepare or commit acts of terrorism. The other four are from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

All nine, who were arrested in December 2010, will be sentenced next week.

During the plotting, the court heard Desai, of Albert Street, Cardiff, and Miah, of Ninian Park Road, Cardiff met with the other men in Cardiff's Roath Park and later at Cwmcarn country park near Newport.

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