She had advertised “for a simple, very simple, honest and straightforward man who fears Allah” who she could “vibe with on a spiritual and intellectual level”.
Prosecutors said Mohammed was specifically drawn to her profile in late 2015 after seeing she had a masters’ degree in pharmacy, aiming to use her chemical knowledge in the attack.
In September 2016, Mohammed complained he had not received his instructions, telling his contact: “If possible send how we make dough [explosives] for Syrian bread [a bomb] and other types of food.” El-Hassan, a 33-year-old divorcee with two children, advised Mohammed on what chemicals to buy for a bomb, the court heard.
That November, Mohammed got hold of a video containing information on how to manufacture ricin, and days before his arrest he was captured on CCTV buying “acetone free” nail polish from Asda, in the mistaken belief it was a component of TATP.
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He had arrived in Britain in the back of a lorry and claimed asylum in February 2014, the court heard.
After awaiting a decision for more than two years, he appealed to his local MP Margaret Beckett for help, but she was told his case had been referred to a “specialist unit for consideration”.
“She appeared to be very receptive to that and they seemed to encourage each other with their shared mindsets...
irrespective of whether she was influenced by him, she knew fully his mindset and contributed to a set of circumstances that, had we not intervened, could have resulted in significant loss of life in the UK in the lead-up to Christmas 2016.” Sue Hemming, the head of of the Crown Prosecution Service’s counter-terror division, said the couple were “clearly attracted to each other through their support for Daesh’s violent ideology and its intolerance of those who do not subscribe to its views”.