SIX men have admitted plotting to bring death and destruction to Dewsbury by blowing up an English Defence League rally.
They all now face long jail terms after admitting at Woolwich Crown Court on Tuesday to preparing an act of terrorism.
The defendants – Birmingham men Omar Khan, 28, Zohaib Ahmed, 22, Mohammed Saud, 22, Jewel Uddin, 27, Mohammed Hasseen, 23, and 24-year-old Anzal Hussain – are due to be sentenced on June 6, almost a year since their bungled Dewsbury bomb plot was uncovered by chance.
Five of them had a home-made bomb made from at least two large fireworks and containing 359 nails and 93 ball-bearings.
They arrived in Dewsbury in two cars at around 4pm on June 30 2012.
But the rally, attended by hundreds of protesters, ended early as English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson was unable to attend to make a speech outside the Town Hall.
The men then left Dewsbury for Birmingham at around 6pm in their Rover 25 and Renault Laguna vehicles.
They were stopped by police on the motorway for driving without insurance, with one of the cars, the Laguna, being impounded.
The gang had given the wrong registration number when they bought car insurance over the phone earlier that day.
The bomb, two sawn-off shotguns, parts for a separate pipe bomb, knives, swords and a letter explaining their plan were found in the Laguna two days later.
Ten copies of the letter printed on A4 paper plus CDs of speeches by radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki were also found in the car.
The security services had no intelligence about the planned attack, though Jewel Uddin was under surveillance by MI5 over another terror plan.
He is linked to another Birmingham-based gang who were jailed last week for planning an attack to rival the July 7 2005 attacks on London.
Uddin held ‘charity’ collections for extremists who planned to detonate up to eight rucksack bombs and possibly other devices on timers.
He was under low-level counter-
terrorism surveillance. On June 25 2012 he and Omar Khan were seen buying the knives later found in the Laguna.
Police believe Khan made the Dewsbury bomb because his fingerprint was discovered on the sticky side of tape found on the device.
Zohaib Ahmed was on bail at the time for allegedly possessing jihadist magazines containing bomb-making instructions.
The men refused to answer police questions in interviews, and detectives still cannot rule out the possibility they were planning a suicide attack.
Police said the group deliberately did not take their mobile phones with them on the day of the attack in a bid to avoid detection.
They had searched the internet to find out how much information detectives can glean from mobile phone data.
They previously denied involvement but changed their pleas via videolink at Woolwich, which is a high security court specialising in terrorism cases.
Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, the recorder of Greenwich, told the men: “This will attract significant custody. There is no doubt about that.”
Marcus Beale, assistant chief constable of West Midlands Police, said the six are extremely dangerous terrorists.
He said: “They may have chosen to attack the EDL, but their overall intent was much more in line with the jihadist threat.’
“They are clearly a radicalised group with extremely dangerous intent. Their intent was to recklessly cause mayhem and mass injuries.”