A former Burton factory worker has been found guilty of plotting an Islamic State-style terrorist attack in the UK.
Munir Mohammed, who was employed with Kerry Foods for six months in 2016, was planning to launch the attack with a home-made bomb or the poison ricin, a court has heard.
He was a food packer at the Mosley Street factory from May to November 2016. Police raided his Derby home in December 2016, and found two of the three ingredients needed for the attack.
The jury at the Central Criminal Court in London found 36-year-old Mohammed guilty of preparing for an act of terrorism under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006, alongside 32-year-old Rowaida El Hassan, from London.
Bomb-making ingredients were hidden in a freezer and a wardrobe when counter-terrorism police raided the factory worker's Leopold Street flat in the city in December last year.
Today he was convicted after a trial at the Old Bailey in London.
Mohammed had two of the three components required to create a high explosive known as 'Mother of Satan' – and believed he had the third.
He bought nail polish remover from Asda in Spondon - in the mistaken belief it was a chemical component of the explosive. He was caught on CCTV shopping for it in the store.
At his flat, investigating officers found a common chemical which had been bought at a pharmacy, in Normanton Road, Derby, in drawers, along with the nail varnish remover. In a fridge-freezer, with the internal door missing, was a plastic drinks bottle containing 500ml of clear liquid, which chemical analysis indicated was a type of acid.
Both liquids were key ingredients for his plot.
Mohammed also visited Ace Discounts in Normanton where he was shopping for a pressure cooker, often used by terrorists to put a bomb inside.
During the plot Mohammed contacted a man on Facebook who he believed was an Islamic State commander to say he was ready to volunteer for a job in the UK.
Mohammed had material from Facebook on his mobile phone on how to make a bomb.
The jury heard he had taken screen-shots from a Facebook post which were instructions on how to construct a bomb and detonate it remotely by a mobile phone.
Mohammed also had a video on his laptop showing how to produce the poison ricin, the jury heard.
After the hearing a spokesman for Kerry Foods told the Burton Mail that the firm immediately investigated the matter following Mohammed’s arrest.
He said: "Munir Mohammed was a temporary worker at the Kerry Foods Burton plant from May 19, 2016, until November 24, 2016. We fully co-operated with the police in their investigation at the time of Mr Mohammed’s arrest on December 12, 2016 and subsequently.
"While the majority of workers at Kerry Foods Burton are direct employees, Mr Mohammed was recruited for Kerry Foods by GI Group, a leading international company which has provided our temporary workforce to meet seasonal or marketplace demand requirements for more than 25 years.
"GI Group goes beyond its legal requirements regarding Right to Work checks and the processes in relation to GI Group employees undertaking work on site at Burton are regularly audited. We immediately investigated the matter and continue to engage with GI Group to ensure that our recruitment procedures are as robust as possible."
A spokesman for GI Group told the Burton Mail: "We take our responsibilities regarding temporary worker registration very seriously and comply with all relevant obligations.
"In this particular case, we fully co-operated with the authorities and also commissioned an independent review which concluded that our candidate vetting procedures are rigorous and exceed Home Office guidelines regarding Right to Work checks for both UK and non-UK nationals."
Derbyshire Police have also commented following the conviction.
DCI Paul Greenwood from Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: "It was only a matter of weeks after meeting each other that Mohammed and El Hassan had formed such a strong trust that Mohammed shared extremist material with her.
"This then rapidly escalated and El Hassan, a qualified pharmacist, readily passed on her knowledge to Mohammed giving him the technical assistance he need in preparing for a terrorist attack.
"Although we do not know what Mohammed and El Hassan’s exact intentions were, several concerning items had already been purchased and the pair had done extensive research regarding making TATP (acetone peroxide) and ricin.
"The evidence clearly shows that the pair planned to cause harm and today’s verdict, and subsequent sentences, means they will now have to face up to their actions in prison."
Detective Superintendent Mark Pollock, head of East Midlands Special Operations Unit - special branch, said after the case: "The response to this incident demonstrates our commitment to finding and bringing to justice those who are intent on causing harm to our communities in the name of whatever cause.
"While this conspiracy was centred in Derby and London, resources from across the national Counter Terrorism network were brought to bear on them, culminating in the successful result today.
"Nevertheless, while these individuals are today starting long prison sentences, it is essential that the public continues to provide information around others who may be planning or supporting attacks like those we saw earlier this year in Manchester and London."
Chief Superintendent Jim Allen, who is in charge of policing in Derby, said: "The residents of Derby and Burton were shocked by these arrests late last year. Through our relationship with our partner agencies and through our Safer Neighbourhood teams, we were able to reassure the community and they really pulled together to support each other.
"This case is a stark reminder to residents that the threat of terrorism is real and present and it highlights the need to be vigilant. Your local policing teams are at work every day trying to address this threat and it’s testament to the community in Derby that Mohammed was detected and brought to justice before he could act.
"Derby has always been a vibrant and multi-cultural city; a safe place to live, work and visit. My message is this - come to Derby, enjoy shopping here, enjoy our nightlife and everything the city has to offer.
"I would ask anyone to report anything suspicious to us; be that suspicious behaviour among friends, colleagues, neighbours or family. Speak to us and share any concerns you have."
The pair are due to be sentenced at a later date.