A man who posed as the leader of a British offshoot of al Qaida and called for the deaths of Gordon Brown and Tony Blair has pleaded guilty to a string of terrorist offences.
Ishaq Kanmi, 23, of Blackburn, posted a message on a Jihadi website which declared the Prime Minister and his predecessor would be sought by “martyrdom seekers” if his demands were not met.
Pretending to be Umar Rabie – the head of “al Qaida in Britain” – he issued a two-month deadline in January 2008 calling for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, together with the release of all Muslim captives from Belmarsh Prison.
Kanmi was arrested at Manchester Airport as he waited to board a flight to Finland in August 2008. He had three electronic storage devices in his suitcase and was carrying a mobile phone which all contained terror-related information which he intended to distribute.
It can now be reported that Kanmi was travelling to Helsinki with Abbas Iqbal, 24, one of two brothers who filmed al Qaida-style propaganda in a park in broad daylight and dubbed themselves “The Blackburn Resistance”. Iqbal, also from Blackburn, was sentenced to three years in jail at Manchester Crown Court two months ago.
Another terrorist linked to Kanmi was Krenar Lusha, 30, who was convicted by a jury at Preston Crown Court in December last year of five counts of possessing terror-related articles and jailed for seven years.
Kanmi, still posing as Umar Rabie, had been in phone and internet contact with Lusha who was caught downloading a video on how to blow people up when police burst into his home in Derby.
Officers also discovered 71.8 litres of petrol in the cellar of his terraced house and computer documents such as “The Bomb Book” and videos including “Mobile Detonators”.
Appearing at Manchester Crown Court, Kanmi, of Cromwell Street, pleaded guilty to professing to belong to al Qaida and inviting support for the terror group. He also admitted collecting or making a record of information likely to be useful to a terrorist and three counts of disseminating terrorist publications.
Kanmi denied two counts of soliciting to murder Mr Brown and Mr Blair, which the Crown Prosecution Service said it was content to lie on file. Sentencing will take place on a date yet to be fixed as psychiatric and psychological reports on the defendant are prepared.