Michael Diamantis 2014
A liquid bomb plotter released early from sentence planned to go to Syria for jihad after hatching plot with man he met in jail, court hears
By Tom Whitehead, Security Editor
7:49PM BST 06 Jun 2014
A terrorist who helped plot to blow up airplanes with liquid bombs tried to head to Syria on a stolen passport the year after being released early from prison.
Nabeel Hussain, 30, was jailed for eight years in 2009 for helping to fund a major terror plot to blow up at least seven passenger jets over the Atlantic using explosives disguised as soft drinks.
He was released early in February 2012 but in September last year he was caught at Stansted airport trying to fly to Turkey on a stolen passport.
He hatched the plan with co-accused Michael Diamantis, who he had met in prison five years earlier.
Hussain was on the run from the police when he was stopped at the airport and had been given shelter in a mosque and provided with financial assistance while at large, the Old Bailey heard.
When stopped he had adventure clothing and detectives believed he was ultimately planning to slip over the border in to Syria.
Hussain claimed he was trying to flee to Turkey because he feared he was about to be recalled to prison after being caught driving without insurance last July.
But the Old Bailey heard he had already being assured by the authorities that he would not be recalled for breach of his licence conditions because of the motoring offence.
He had been due to be interviewed by police for the driving offence on September 19 but went on the run.
He then hatched a plan with Diamantis, who he had met in Belmarsh prison in 2008, to use a passport stolen from a man called Rasat Safak to leave the UK.
Diamantis bought a ticket to Turkey for him under that name but Hussain was stopped at the airport when officials became suspicious because he did not look like the person in the photograph.
Hussain claimed he was only travelling to Turkey for a holiday.
At the Old Bailey, Hussain was jailed for two years and four months for possessing a passport with improper intent.
Diamantis was jailed for 20 months for fraud in connection with buying the plane ticket.
Both men have been recalled to prison for breach of licence for previous sentences and could now serve more of their original sentences.
Hussain had been jailed for his part in the 2006 airline plot that, if successful, would have resulted in thousands of deaths.
The ringleaders had hoped to â€œeclipse 9/11â€.
Diamantis had been on licence from a 10 year jail term handed down in 2008 for causing grievous bodily harm with intent and possessing a firearm with intent. He had shot a man in the stomach.
Passing sentence, Mr Justice Sweeney told Hussain: â€œThe offence which you were on licence for is an extremely serious terrorist offence, but I do not sentence you upon the basis of any additional intention to carry out terrorist activity of some sort, whether in Turkey or elsewhere.
‘Nevertheless, clearly an element of deterrence must feature in the sentence I impose, given the paramount importance, particularly in relation to the offence of seriousness for which you were sentenced, that it be clearly understood failure to comply with conditions of licences and the commission of criminal offences in order to avoid justice are extremely serious offences which must not take place.’
He told Diamantis: ‘You saw yourself and your Muslim brothers as being persecuted for your religious beliefs, and your perception of the persecution formed part of the reasons behind the offence.â€