Mohammed Chowdhury of Bethnal Green, east London, pleaded guilty on 18 November to four counts of possessing documents likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, under section 58 of the Terrorism Act (TACT) 2000.
Chowdhury was also found guilty today, 10 February, of attempting to possess an explosive with intent to endanger life or property, contrary to section 3 of the Explosives Substance Act, 1883.
Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command said: “Chowdhury downloaded a number of extremely concerning documents and manuals, containing details of how to create and deploy explosives and lethal weapons. What’s more, he then made very serious attempts at trying to get hold of a hand grenade.
“These are extremely serious offences and the public are undoubtedly safer following this investigation and outcome.
“This case is a reminder to everyone that the threat from terrorism remains and I want to remind the public that their continued vigilance and support is needed. I would urge anyone who sees or hears anything suspicious to contact police, no matter how small or insignificant they think it may be – it is better to let us know so that we can take a look and take any action as appropriate.”
Chowdhury was arrested in February 2020, after police became aware that he was attempting to buy a grenade. Following his arrest, officers attended Chowdhury’s address and seized a number of digital devices. Detectives found evidence on one of the phones seized that Chowdhury had downloaded and viewed a number of documents containing recipes for making explosive substances and information on how to create explosive devices.
There were also a number of hand-written notes found in Chowdhury’s address, which included details of chemicals and explosives and diagrams copied from the manuals he had downloaded onto his phone.
Chowdhury was subsequently charged with attempting to possess a grenade and four counts of possession of documents likely to be of use to a terrorist – all relating to the documents that were found on his phone.
Chowdhury pleaded guilty to possessing the documents, and following a trial, he was also convicted of attempting to purchase the grenade. He is due to be sentenced on 23 March.
If you see or hear anything suspicious, then ACT and report it to us confidentially via gov.uk/ACT or by calling 0800 789 321. In an emergency, always dial 999.