A couple that met on a dating website was found guilty on Tuesday of conspiring to build explosives and attempting to carry out an ISIS-inspire attack during Christmastime in Britain, authorities said.
Munir Mohammed, 36, met Rowaida El-Hassan, 33, on the dating site SingleMuslim.com and enlisted her help to carry out a “lone wolf” mission. He had volunteered to plot the “devastating” terror attack after talking to an alleged ISIS commander, who gave him instructions and information to build a bomb.
El-Hassan, a pharmacist, “rapidly formed an emotional attachment” to Mohammed and they bonded through their support for “ISIS violent ideology and its intolerance of those who do not subscribed to its views,” Sky News reported.
“I am looking for a man I can vibe with on a spiritual and intellectual level. Someone who can teach me new things and inspire me,” She had initially wrote on her dating profile, Reuters reported.
El-Hassan would ask Mohammed, a Sudanese asylum seeker, to send video of gruesome ISIS executions and guided him to chemicals he needed for the attack.
"Rowaida El-Hassan was the educated assistant with a rallying cry when he needed it and the pharmaceutical knowledge to help,” prosecutor Anne Whyte QC told the jury. "Munir Mohammed was the active heavy lifter. They were both assets to ISIS in their different ways."
Mohammed was attempting to build a pressure cooker bomb when authorities arrested him in December 2016. Two ingredients used for a TATP bomb — used during the Manchester Arena bombing last May that killed 22 people — and manuals on building explosives, mobile detonators and ricin, a deadly poison were found at his home.
Mohammed and El-Hassan previously denied plotting an attack between November 2015 and December 2016.
"Had he not been arrested when he was -- which was on December 12, 2016, at a time when he'd already started to acquire chemicals, already started to look at pressure cookers, on the delivery mechanism for an attack and was already in conversation with Islamic States operatives -- I think he was very close to mounting some sort of attack,” Detective Chief Inspector Paul Greenwood said.
He added, "And that could well have occurred before Christmas 2016 and I think that attack would have involved the loss of life and multiple injuries had Mohammed had his way."
Mohammed and El-Hassan are expected to be sentenced on Feb. 22.