Extremists Planned "Tit-for-tat Terror"

LONDON - Six Islamic extremists who admitted plotting a terrorist attack on a far-right group were aware that it could have led to a "tit-for-tat spiral of violence and terror," a British court heard on Thursday.

The planned attack on the English Defence League (EDL) only failed because the rally they were holding in the north of England last year ended half an hour earlier than expected.

Jewel Uddin, Omar Mohammed Khan, Mohammed Hasseen, Anzal Hussain, Mohammed Saud, and Zohaib Ahmed, all aged between 22 and 31, pleaded guilty to preparing an act of terrorism in April.

The six were in court on Thursday for the start of a two-day sentencing hearing.

Prosecutors said they were armed with two shotguns, swords, knives, a nail bomb containing 458 pieces of shrapnel, and a partially assembled pipe bomb when they arrived for the rally in Dewsbury, Yorkshire.

"There can be little doubt that a violent attack of the kind intended to be carried out would have been bound to draw a response in revenge from its target and most likely would have led to a tit-for-tat spiral of violence and terror," said prosecutor Bobbie Cheema. "The defendants anticipated as much."

The EDL has stoked tensions with the Muslim community since the murder of a British soldier in London last month by suspected Islamic extremists.

The league has held marches across the country at which slogans such as "Muslim killers off our streets" have been chanted.

Graffiti reading EDL was also found sprayed on a mosque in north London which burnt down in the early hours of Wednesday, though the EDL denied it was involved. Counter-terrorism police are investigating the incident.

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Terrorism