Suspected Extremists Plead Guilty in Plot to Behead British Soldier

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A mastermind pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a plot to kidnap a Muslim member of the Armed Forces from Birmingham City Center and behead him "like a pig," the Times of London reports.

Parviz Khan, 38, a charity worker who allegedly sent funds and equipment to terror organizations on the Pakistan-Afghan border, and suspected Islamic extremists belonging to his group pleaded guilty in connection with the plot.

"He was enraged by the idea that there are Muslim soldiers in the British army," said Nigel Rumfitt, of the prosecution.

According to testimony, Khan, with the help of drug dealers, had planned to kidnap a soldier and film his beheading to "cause panic and fear within the British armed forces and the wider public," Rumfitt said. He was arrested last year during counter-terrorism raids.

In addition to Khan, Basiru Gassama, 30, said he knew of the plot but did not tell anyone about it. Mohammed Irfan, 31, and Hamid Elasmar, 44, pleaded guilty to helping Khan supply the equipment.

The guilty pleas were made earlier this month but could not be reported until a trial involving two other men who pleaded innocent to the charges began Tuesday.

Khan had asked Gassama, 30, to identify a victim. But Gassama, a Gambian citizen, never came up with the details and the plan "lay dormant" after July 2006, said Rumfitt. He said Khan revived the plot in November 2006.

Gassama pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of failing to disclose details of the plot.

In addition, Amjad Mahmood, 32, pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to disclose details of Khan's plot. Zahoor Iqbal, 30, pleaded not guilty to possessing the "Encyclopedia Jihad" — a computer disk which prosecutors say could be useful to a terrorist.

Both men have also pleaded not guilty to helping Khan to supply equipment to terrorists.

The men were arrested in a series of high-profile raids in Birmingham in January 2007.

Click here to read more on this story from the Times of London.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.