Scottish man convicted of planning terrorism attacks

A 25-year-old man from Banff, Aberdeenshire has been convicted of planning terrorism attacks.

Connor Ward had denied any attempt of breaching the Terrorism Act as he faced trial at the High Court in Edinburgh, charged with actions that showed attempted acts of terrorism.

The jury heard how Ward acquired parts and plans for potential explosives and also kept a list of Scottish mosques.

Connor Ward Image Credit: Police Scotland

Sentencing has been differed after the verdict was give after the five-week trial.

Ward is a former psychiatric patient and claimed that he was suffering from mental illness at the time he began to gather documents from the Internet.

He has also been previously in jail for three years in 2012 after being accused of explosive charges that ended with people being evacuated from their homes.

Judge Lord Burns has adjourned until April 11th in order to obtain reports of Ward’s character.

Police had discovered hundreds of ball bearings, used in pipe bombs and other IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices) as well as thousands of files pertaining to firearms and survival techniques.

There were also documents containing extreme right wing propaganda and military tactics.

The court heard Ward had written a dedication in a book which read:

“This book is dedicated to all that follow Mohammed and the Islamic faith. You will all soon suffer your demise.”

 

Terrorists bomb Nigeria

 

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Photo courtesy of Nicholas Raymond/ Flickr

Over 30 people have been killed by an explosion in a busy market in the Northern Nigerian city of Yola, in the latest of a string of attacks by the Islamist group Boko Haram.

This is the second time this year that Yola has been the target of a deadly bombing, despite the Nigerian government’s attempts to clamp down on terrorism in the West African nation. Over 80 people were injured and taken to hospital as a result of the blasts.

EN4 News spoke to the UK Foreign Office, who told us that the UK welcomes “the recent successes made by Nigeria and it’s neighbours against Boko Haram. However, the actions of Boko Haram continue to have a devastating impact upon local communities and threaten security in North East Nigeria and the wider region.

 “The UK remains fully committed to supporting the efforts of Nigeria and its neighbours in their fight against Boko Haram. We are providing a substantial and increasing package of intelligence, military and development support to Nigeria. This includes training and advice for Nigerian units deploying against Boko Haram, £5m to support the regional task force set up by Nigeria and its neighbours to tackle the insurgents, and humanitarian aid to support civilians affected by the conflict.”

The Nigerian embassy to the UK were unable to give a comment on the explosion or what the Nigerian government is doing to combat Boko Haram.

Boko Haram, which translates to “Western education is forbidden”, has been responsible for a number of fatal attacks throughout Nigeria, including the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls last year. They recently publicly announced their allegiance to the Islamic State, and now call themselves IS’s West African province.

Our international correspondent, Cassie Burke has a round-up on the story:

Police make fresh raids in Paris

Jordi Boixareu

Photo courtesy of Jordi Boixareu/Flickr.

Armed police have raided an apartment in the Parisian suburb of Saint Denis, located in the north west of the city. The raids, following Friday’s fatal attacks which claimed the lives of 129 people, targeted suspected terrorists linked to the shootings.

Police are said to have shot dead two of the suspects during these raids, whilst a woman in the flat is believed to have blown herself up with a suicide belt, according to prosecutors.

The operation is thought to have been targeting Abdelhamid  Abaaoud, the man believed to be behind Friday’s attacks, which killed 129 people.

EN4 News spoke to students based in the French capital, who described the atmosphere as “shell shocked”, leaving residents “tense and jumpy.”

“People set off fireworks at Place de la République in tribute to those who died and everyone fled in panic thinking it was another bomb. It’s odd trying to get on with daily life when it happened so close to home, but I get the sense people are just trying to return to normality despite the fear that something bad could happen at any time.”

Roads have been blocked off surrounding Saint Denis, and truckloads of soldiers are said to have joined the armed Police.

French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve has praised the bravery of the officers who took part.

 

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