By: Chandrashekar Bhat
A BRITISH financial analyst has been found guilty of multiple terrorism offences after his laptop led police to dangerous bomb-making plans.
Asad Bhatti, from Redhill in Surrey, south-east England, was arrested and charged in January 2021. A search was carried out at an address in the area which revealed a makeshift bomb-making facility.
Surrey Police said the 49-year-old man of South Asian origin was found guilty of two counts of possessing an article for the purpose of terrorism.
At the Old Bailey court in London on Friday (12), he was also found guilty of three counts of making or possessing an explosive substance under suspicious circumstances.
Bhatti remains in custody and will be sentenced for the crimes at the same court on April 25.
“The case against Bhatti was strong, I am glad the jury found him guilty today,” said detective chief superintendent Olly Wright, head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) in Surrey.
“There was clear evidence of his extreme Islamist ideology and the danger he posed. He clearly hated those whom he considers do not follow his version of Islam, and he made a range of derogatory comments towards those he considers to be unbelievers,” he said.
Bhatti was investigated after he had taken his laptop into a shop to be fixed and a member of staff found some concerning file titles, which he reported.
Some documents were discovered suggesting whoever was using the device had an interest in explosives and making explosive devices.
Following the discovery, Bhatti was arrested and a police search was carried out at his home in Redhill and at a storage container he rented.
In the storage unit, officers found chemicals, chemistry equipment, electronic circuitry and an improvised explosive device, which was dismantled by a specialist explosive ordnance disposal team.
This device was not deemed to be functional due to some of the materials used. At his property, items including a USB stick containing guides to make explosive devices were seized, the court was told.
Bhatti was also found to be in possession of manuals he compiled and wrote himself.
He had spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations on making explosives, shooting techniques and hand combat, along with manuals published by others on making explosives and combat.
A handbook that included the subject ‘Jihad and Martyrdom’ was also found, the jury was told. (PTI)