July 7th, 2007 06:59 EST
Sleeper Terrorist Jailed For Nine Years
Omar Altimimi, 37 (born 6/8/69) used a number of identities, and attempted to 'blend' into the community in Bolton. The jury at Manchester Crown Court found him guilty of six offences under the Terrorism Act 2000 and two offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Police arrested Altimimi, of Lansdowne Road, Bolton in June 2006 at the same time Yusuf Abdullah, 30 (born 1/1/77), was arrested at Halliwell Road, Bolton. Abdullah had earlier pleaded guilty to acquiring $54,610 of criminal property.
Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Porter, head of the Greater Manchester Police Counter Terrorism Unit, said: "We will never know who Altimimi really is. He developed a range of identities, which would allow him to expand his terrorist activities. He is a congenital liar and has lied throughout this investigation.
"Altimimi arrived in Bolton and then used his wife and children in a bid to blend into the community appearing as an ordinary family. But behind closed doors he was downloading shocking videos of executions, bomb-making recipes and information on how to establish a terrorist cell. He appears to have been a 'sleeper' remaining in the shadows waiting and preparing for action.
"We will never know exactly what Altimimi was preparing to do but it was clear he had support and links with terrorists across the world."
During the investigation officers carried out enquiries in 14 countries stretching from Scandinavia through to Middle East.
As part of a fraud investigation two computers belonging to Altimimi were seized at addresses in Lansdowne Road, and Eastbank Street in Bolton. On these computers police found a vast library of terrorist material, much of it downloaded from a secret password protected Al-Qaeda Internet site. Other material seized by police included a job description for a role in Greater Manchester Police, application form for Bolton Council and for a teacher training position with Bolton Community College.
It became clear that Altimimi also had a number of different identities that he was using - by the end of the investigation three different names and eight bank accounts had been linked to Altimimi.
DCS Porter said: "The support and assistance of businesses and communities in Bolton has been vital to the outcome of this investigation. This started with a fraud investigation at the Nationwide Building Society and their vigilance together with the work done by the local Bolton officers laid the foundations for the successful CTU investigation. We are also grateful for the considerable international support for this investigation particularly from the police in Holland.
"This case demonstrates how important it is for people to report any concerns about suspicious activity to us. When people provide information to the police they could be giving us the final piece of a complex jigsaw."
Anyone with concerns about possible suspicious activity is urged to contact the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321 or local police.
Altimimi said during the interview - "I am going to have to say something here now. Morally I can't take it but my mind tells me that you have the right to secure, security of your country. And but I mean psychologically whenever I hear the word terrorism I lose my mind because these questions that you are given, are asking me I find them strange as well."