First British terrorist attack since 7/7 bombings

Yesterday’s killing is thought to be the first terrorist attack on British streets since the 2005 London bombings.

The atrocity saw 52 people killed by four suicide bombers on London’s transport network.

Since then, there have been a number of other plots — the first coming just two weeks after the Jul 7 attack.

Another group of four bombers had attempted to replicate the attack but their plan failed. They were caught and each jailed for life.

The Woolwich incident mirrors a plot which saw a Birmingham man jailed for life in 2008 for plotting to kidnap and kill a British Muslim soldier.

Parviz Khan admitted planning to lure the soldier off the streets with the promise of drugs — then film his beheading.

He was described in court as having “the most violent and extreme Islamist views”, with the judge saying his aim was to deter any Muslim from joining the British army.

The most recent planned attack aimed at killing large numbers of victims was in May 2008. Muslim convert Nicky Reilly was planning to blow up dozens of diners with a nail bomb in Exeter, but he accidentally detonated the device in the restaurant’s toilet. He received a life sentence.

According to M15, there have been 2,291 arrests under the Terrorism Act between Sept 11, 2001, and Sept 30, 2012 and 312 people have been convicted of terrorism-related offences.

As of the end of September last year, there were 107 people serving sentences in UK prisons classified as terrorists.

Notable plots include:

*A 2006 plan to blow up aircraft being flown between the UK, America, and Canada using liquid explosives which led to 12 people being jailed.

*A plot to attack UK and US targets with a “dirty bomb” and gas-filled limousines that saw al Qaeda operative Dhiren Barot sentenced to 30 years in 2006, and seven other men jailed.

nPlans to target shopping centres and nightclubs with explosives that led to five men being jailed for life in 2007.

*The attempted murder of MP Stephen Timms who was stabbed by Roshonara Choudry. The student, who was said to have been inspired by extremist sermons she watched online, was convicted in 2010.

*A plan to attack the London Stock Exchange, which saw nine members of a terrorist network later receive terms of between five and 17 years in Feb 2012.

Three high-profile sentencing hearings took place last month alone. On Apr 18, four men from Luton — Zahid Iqbal, Mohammed Sharfaz Ahmed, Umar Arshad and Syed Farhan Hussain — were given long jail terms for their roles in plotting an al Qaeda-inspired attack.

They had intended to carry out attacks in Luton using improvised explosive devices and all admitted engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism between Jan 2011 and Apr 2012.

British Islamic extremists Richard Dart, Imran Mahmood and Jahangir Alom were jailed for more than 20 years in total on Apr 25 after admitting engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism.

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