LONDON — A husband-and-wife team of terrorists who were planning a suicide bomb attack on London’s Westfield mall and the London Underground have been jailed for a minimum of 27 and 25 years, respectively.
Mohammed Rehman and his wife Sana Ahmed Khan were found guilty of preparing terrorist acts by a London court earlier this week, and sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday.
Rehman was also charged with possessing an article for terrorist purposes after the police found explosives in his home in Reading, England, outside London. He had been stockpiling chemicals to create a bomb, with money supplied by his wife, according to British media sources.
The couple had been planning a suicide bomb attack at London’s Westfield mall, which houses the Yoox Net-a-porter headquarters, and more than 250 major British and international retailers, including Marks & Spencer, Coach, Apple, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade, Topshop, Mulberry, Prada and Tiffany & Co.
The two were arrested earlier this year after the police discovered tweets that explicitly referred to their plans to stage an attack. They referred to themselves on Twitter as “Silent Bomber.”
One of their tweets read: “London Underground or Westfield shopping centre? Any advice would be appreciated greatly.” Rehman also regularly posted extremist rhetoric and images of his homemade explosives, with instructional material.
A spokeswoman for London’s Southeast Counter Terrorism Command, which carried out the investigation, said: “These were dangerous individuals who represented a genuine threat, but through counterterrorism policing we were able to intercept them before they could carry out their plans. It is clear that Rehman and Khan shared a radical and violent extremist ideology. They actively accessed extremist material on the Internet and used social media to develop and share their views as they prepared acts of terrorism.”
Westfield did not return requests for comment.