Man jailed for 15 years for driverless car bomb plot

A man who plotted a terrorist attack involving the use of a bomb inside a remotely controlled vehicle has been jailed for 15 years.

Counter-terrorism police described Farhad Salah as posing a very real risk to public safety, with prosecutors saying he had hoped to harm others he considered to be infidels.

During the five-week retrial at Sheffield crown court, jurors heard how the 24-year-old, described as being a supporter of Islamic State, had been in the early stages of testing small improvised explosive devices when he was arrested.

Anne Whyte QC, prosecuting, told jurors: “The intention was to manufacture a device which would be placed in a vehicle but controlled remotely so that no one had to martyr themselves in the process.

“Farhad Salah had decided that improvised explosive devices could be made and used in a way here in the UK that spared his own life preferably but harmed others he considered to be infidels.”

She said a week before the defendant was detained, he had messaged a Facebook contact to say: “My only attempt is to find a way to carry out a martyrdom operation with cars without driver, everything is perfect only the programme is left …”

Whyte said Salah was getting “increasingly desperate to do something” for Isis but had been unable to travel to the Middle East because of his unsettled immigration status. His application for asylum in the UK was unresolved at the time of his arrest in December 2017.

This month, jurors found Salah guilty of preparing to commit acts of terrorism, and on Wednesday the judge, Paul Watson QC, sentenced him to 18 years, comprising a 15-year jail term with an extended three-year period on licence.

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