*) We have had the plot to behead a British solider leading to arrests in the city. We have had reports that some of the suspects from the recent attempted car bombings in London were from Birmingham . We have had the Channel 4 “undercover Mosque” program revealing the widespread preaching of Jihadist doctrine in the city. We have had the “Tipton Taliban” banged up in camp X-Ray after being captured in Afghanistan (who claim they were attending a wedding, these guys must really, really like wedding cake). We have had wounded soldiers in Selly Oak harangued by Muslims. And on and on and on.
The main offences for which suspects were charged under terrorism legislation were possession of an article for terrorist purposes, fundraising and membership of a proscribed organisation, all offences under the Terrorism Act 2000.
*) In 2006, a violent and extreme fanatic plotted to behead a British Muslim soldier "like a pig" and film the killing in a lock-up garage. Parviz Khan then planned to broadcast footage of "the ghastly death" in an attempt to spread panic among the armed forces and the public.
Leicester Crown Court heard how the 37-year-old unemployed charity worker was at the centre of a Birmingham terrorist cell, sending equipment to fighters operating on the Afghan border. Allegedly, the equipment was disguised as medicine and clothes for earthquake victims.
Details of Khan's plans emerged as two other men accused of activities connected to the cell also went on trial.
Khan pleaded guilty to charges connected to the plot – and supplying equipment to terrorists – but the two others denied offences under the Terrorism Act. Amjad Mahmood, 32, of Birmingham , denied knowing about the plot to murder a soldier and failing to disclose it to the authorities between April 2006 and February 2007. Zahoor Iqbal, 30, also from Birmingham , denied possessing a document or record likely to be useful to a terrorist, namely a computer disc entitled "Encyclopedia Jihad". The two men also denied helping to supply terrorists in Pakistan , engaging in conduct with the intention of assisting in the commission of acts of terrorism between April 2006 and February 2007.
Nigel Rumfitt QC, for the prosecution, told the court that Khan had pleaded guilty. He had hoped, Mr Rumfitt said, to kidnap a soldier by ambushing him in Birmingham 's Broad Street entertainment quarter, and was planning to enlist the help of drug dealers to capture the soldier.
"He would be taken to a lock-up garage and there he would be murdered by having his head cut off like a pig. This atrocity would be filmed ... and the film released to cause panic and fear within the British armed forces and the wider public," said Mr Rumfitt.
Khan actively gathered equipment such as computer hard drives, walkie-talkies, range-finders and night vision equipment, to be sent to Pakistan for terrorists operating near the Afghan border. He would return from the country with "shopping lists".
"The prosecution say that Parviz Khan is a fanatic. He is a man who has the most violent and extreme views. He was enraged by the idea that there were Muslim soldiers in the British Army," explained Mr Rumfitt.
Khan had asked Basiru Gassama, 30, a Gambian national, to help identify a victim. He failed to come up with details of an individual target and did not report the plot to the authorities.
Gassama, from the Hodge Hill area of Birmingham , has pleaded guilty after failing to inform the authorities of the plan to kill a soldier. A bug placed in Khan's home in Alum Rock by security services recorded "highly incriminating and damaging comments", the court was told. On 6 November 2006 , Mr Rumfitt said, Gassama visited Khan and was shown videos of beheadings in an attempt to persuade him to help the cell.
The jury was told that two other men from Birmingham , Mohammed Irfan, 31, and Hamid Elasmar, 44, have also pleaded guilty to helping Khan supply the equipment. All six men were arrested on 31 January 2006 in a series of coordinated police raids. During searches of their homes "disturbingly violent" Islamist material was found, the court was told. At Mr Iqbal's home in Perry Barr, they discovered electronic "books" on booby traps and grenades, US Army field manuals and a "mujahedin poison book".