An ISIS supporter was today sentenced to life for plotting to blow up railway lines in the UK using a home-made bomb from a pressure cooker and Christmas fairy lights after becoming radicalised online.
Zahid Hussain from Birmingham, who filled a device with 1.6 kg of shrapnel and made "improvised igniters" from the festive decorations to create the so-called "pressure cooker bomb", was convicted of preparing for an act of terrorism and jailed for at least 15 years by the Winchester Crown Court.
"You are a dangerous offender and in the view of the level of the danger that you pose and the impossibility of predicting when it will come to an end, this is an appropriate case in which to impose a sentence of life imprisonment," said Justice Sweeney during sentencing.
The 29-year-old former nightclub doorman was caught on CCTV climbing into a storm drain under the mainline trains connecting Birmingham to London as he researched possible targets.
Jurors at Hussains trial were told that he became radicalised while viewing hundreds of ISIS images and videos of the war in Syria.
He used a bedroom in his parents' home in Birmingham as his "base of operations and improvised laboratory" where he researched and attempted to assemble explosives.
He was arrested in August 2015 after reports of a man "patrolling" the streets carrying a hammer and crowbar near the house.
The judge told Hussain it was clear he had been "strongly committed" to carrying out multiple bombings.
"If detonated in a crowded area it would have been potentially fatal to those within metres of it and would have potentially caused serious injury among those up to 10 metres away," Justice Sweeney said.
He described Hussains "culpability" as extremely high due to being "deeply radicalised" and concluded that based on the evidence and reports of several expert psychiatric reports he also suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
However, he still deemed a life sentence "appropriate" in view of the level of the danger he posed, and the "impossibility of predicting when it will come to an end".
Hussain has been directed to serve a minimum of 15 years before being considered for parole.
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