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Salma Kabal: Terrorist's wife 'kept plot to rival 9/11 secret because she wanted to rekindle their romance' 'to rival 9/11'

// Headline
  • Salma Kabal, 23, accused of knowing that her husband Ashik Ali, 28, was planning a terror attack to rival 9/11
  • She was allegedly secretly recorded discussing the attacks with him at a terrorist safe house
  • Court hears she sent a text about Four Lions satire being shown as she tried to rekindle her romance with him
  • Her husband Ashik already convicted of being one of the ringleaders of the plot along with Irfan Khalid, 28, and Irfan Naseer, 31
  • Bahader Ali, 29, and Mohammed Rizwan, 34, plead guilty to being part of the conspiracy today

By Chris Greenwood

PUBLISHED: 06:03 EST, 10 April 2013 | UPDATED: 19:59 EST, 10 April 2013

The lovelorn wife of a would- be suicide bomber begged her estranged husband to father her child as he  finalised plans to kill himself in a murderous attack.

Salma Kabal, 23, knew of her husband’s ambitions to blow himself up but refused to believe the pair did not have a future together, a court was told.

She told Ashik Ali she wanted him back in her life and even joked about his deadly terrorist ambitions.

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Terror trial: Salma Kabal, 23, was aware husband Ashik Ali and his accomplices were plotting a string of suicide attacks across Britain but failed to report it to police, the court heard

Terror trial: Salma Kabal, 23, was aware husband Ashik Ali and his accomplices were plotting a string of suicide attacks across Britain but failed to report it to police, the court heard

In March, the 27-year-old Islamic extremist was convicted alongside two close friends of plotting a string of attacks to rival 9/11 or the London 7/7 bombings.

Yesterday, Kabal went on trial accused of failing to inform the police about the conspiracy which could have killed dozens.

Woolwich Crown Court heard a huge counter-terrorism police and MI5 operation captured the couple’s conversations on a hidden bug.

Terror plot: Ashik Ali, 27, was recorded discussing the film Four Lions with his estranged wife, the court heard. He has been convicted of terror charges

Terror plot: Ashik Ali, 27, was recorded discussing the film Four Lions with his estranged wife, the court heard. He has been convicted of terror charges

Prosecutor Stuart Baker said Ali ‘couldn’t have made his intention’ to commit an act of terrorism ‘much clearer’.

He said: ‘Ashik Ali felt able to talk openly with Salma Kabal about his intentions to commit terrorist acts in the future and other related matters.

‘The conversation only really works between two people if both have some understanding of what is being referred to, and each are aware of what the other knows and understands.’

Kabal was arrested during co-ordinated raids on members of the terrorist cell across Birmingham in September 2011.

Ali and his accomplices Irfan Naseer and Irfan Khalid face long prison sentences after they were convicted of masterminding the plot. Several others admitted their roles.

Naseer and Khalid secretly travelled to Pakistan twice to train alongside members of Al Qaeda, returning to Britain to pass on their knowledge.

Mr Baker said: ‘They were committed to committing acts of terrorism, although the finer details of the plot had not been finally agreed.

‘They discussed ways of killing people and discussed their martyrdom.’

The court heard Kabal became estranged from Ali as he dedicated himself to the conspiracy and started to raise money through bogus charity collections.

When she was arrested, she told police, ‘I haven’t done anything wrong’, and refused to answer any questions in interview.

She had not known that her conversations with Ali were recorded when she travelled to his flat – the terror gang’s bomb factory – to try to rekindle their romance.

Satire: Salma Kabal, 23, was heard discussing Chris Morris' satirical film 'Four Lions' in secret recordings

Satire: Salma Kabal, 23, was heard discussing Chris Morris' satirical film 'Four Lions' in secret recordings

The jury were given details of three conversations that took place in the four days before the plot was dramatically foiled.

She asked him to father a child with her, having suffered a miscarriage with his first baby, and refused to accept his plan for her to marry someone else.

Mr Baker said she indicated she knew of the terror plot by replying ‘I understand’ when Ali suggested the next Ramadan may be his last.

Ali told her the bombings would be outside the UK ‘to protect her from the truth or protect himself and others from loose talk’, the court heard.

'Terror attack': In the film the bungling extremists plot a terror attack - but there are a series of mishaps

'Terror attack': In the film the bungling extremists plot a terror attack - but there are a series of mishaps

In another conversation, Kabal joked about the film Four Lions, a parody movie of bungling British jihadists, and texted him about it before it was shown on Channel 4, the court heard.

Kabal said she wanted to be the ‘lioness’ when Ali joked that she considered his terrorist aspirations as similar to the hapless bombers.

‘Oh, you think this is a flipping Four Lions’, Ali told his wife.

‘We’re one man short, there’s three of us. We ain’t Four Lions yet.’  Kabal replied: ‘I’ll be your fourth one’, before adding ‘Lioness’ when Ali says she cannot join their cell.

She was also recorded saying: ‘Kiss you goodbye in five months innit?’ to which Ali replied: ‘Hopefully before that.’

Mr Baker said Kabal may have known about the bomb plot for as long as two years but did nothing to stop it.

He said: ‘She had information she should have told police about in order to prevent acts of terrorism that she believed were going to take place.

‘Salma Kabal was married to Ashik Ali but at the time we are concerned with, she was separated from him.  But it is clear that she was trying to get back together with him.’

Kabal, of Alum Rock, Birmingham, who sat alone in the dock wearing a purple headscarf having removed her veil, denies having information about acts of terrorism.

The maximum penalty on conviction is five years’ imprisonment.

The trial continues.

Two members of a terrorist cell are facing jail after admitting their involvement in a suicide bomb plot to rival the 9/11 attacks.

Bahader Ali, 29, and Mohammed Rizwan, 34, gathered funds and information to support plans for the largest terrorist atrocity ever carried out on UK soil.

The pair, from Birmingham, were part of a terrorist cell which had converted a council house into a bomb factory to prepare for the attacks.

Guilty: Bahader Ali, left, and Mohammed Rizwan who today admitted they were involved in a terror plot 'to rival the 9/11 attacks' at Woolwich Crown Court

Guilty: Bahader Ali, left, and Mohammed Rizwan who today admitted they were involved in a terror plot 'to rival the 9/11 attacks' at Woolwich Crown Court

Terror conspiracy: Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali, both 27, were last month convicted of being the ringleaders of the plot to commit the largest ever atrocity carried out on UK soil

Terror conspiracy: Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali, both 27, were last month convicted of being the ringleaders of the plot to commit the largest ever atrocity carried out on UK soil

Irfan Khalid, 28, Irfan Naseer, 31, and Ashik Ali, 28, were convicted last month of being the ringleaders of a plot for a series of suicide bombings across the UK.

The trio were secretly recorded boasting their murderous campaign would be 'another 9/11' as they practised making bombs and identified possible targets.

Naseer and Khalid twice travelled to Pakistan to learn about bomb-making, weapons and poisons, returning to Birmingham to share their expertise.

Members of the cell posed as charity collectors during Ramadan to raise funds for the attacks, raking in around £15,000 but then wasting the cash on bad investments and buying a car.

But members of the terrorist cell were arrested in September 2011 before any attacks could take place. 

Collecting for terror: Irfan Naseer left and Irfan Khalid holding bucket undertake bogus charity collections in Birmingham to secretly raise funds for their bombing campaign

Collecting for terror: Irfan Naseer, left, and Irfan Khalid, holding a bucket, undertake bogus charity collections in Birmingham to raise funds for their bombing campaign. Today two more men admitted their role in the plot

Bahader Ali, the older brother of Ashik, and Rizwan were due to stand trial at Woolwich Crown Court, having initially denied their involvement in the plot.

But they both admitted terrorism charges today.

Bearded Ali, dressed in a blue smock and skull cap, confessed to posing as a charity collector to raise funds for the attacks, and collecting information between July and September 2011.

Rizwan, also in a smock and grey head cap, admitted gathering information for terrorist attacks.

Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, all from Birmingham, were convicted at Woolwich Crown Court of planning to set off up to eight bombs hidden in rucksacks.

Watched: The group were under surveillance 24 hours a day by MI5 and the police. They are pictured here returning from a trip to a camp in Pakistan

Charity funded terror: The men posed as fundraisers for a Muslim charity (left) then used the cash to pay for bomb devices such as this alarm clock (right)

Mr Justice Henriques ordered two additional charges of gathering information for terrorism to lie on the court file.

He set down a three-day sentencing hearing to take place on April 22, when all members of the terrorist cell will be sentenced.

Ali, from Birmingham, admitted engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts and entering into a funding arrangement for the purposes of terrorism.

Rizwan, also from Birmingham, admitted engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.

Arrests: Ashik Ali, Irfan Khalid and Irfan Naseer are arrested in Birmingham as police swoop on the terror plotters

Arrests: Ashik Ali, Irfan Khalid and Irfan Naseer are arrested in Birmingham as police swoop on the terror plotters

Safe house: The trio were based at this property in White Street, Birmingham, and used as the headquarters for their terror cell

Safe house: The terror cell were based in this council house in White Street, Birmingham. They used the property as the headquarters for their terror cell

Probe: Police raided properties all over Birmingham, including this safe house, which was full of bomb-making equipment and documents detailing how to make them

Probe: Police raided properties all over Birmingham, including this safe house, which was full of bomb-making equipment and documents detailing how to make them

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