Surrey financial analyst jailed for bomb-making and terrorism offences

A 50-year-old financial analyst from Redhill, Surrey, has been sentenced to eight years in prison for terrorism offences after his laptop, containing a self-written manifesto and bomb manuals, was discovered by a computer repair shop. Asad Bhatti, who previously worked as a senior financial analyst for Legal and General, had also rented a storage unit where chemicals, circuitry, a homemade detonator, a half-constructed pipe bomb, gunpowder, and nitroglycerin remnants were found.

Bhatti’s laptop was brought to the attention of the police by the owner of Computer Solutions in Caterham, Surrey, after noticing suspicious files during the repair process. The police began investigating the contents of the laptop, discovering a folder titled “The Chikki Moe Pack” containing various documents related to guns and explosives.

Among the documents was a 173-page word document created by Bhatti in October 2013, called “The Mumin’s Handbook” – the Believer’s Handbook. The document contained sections on Islam, jihad, martyrdom, explosives, hand-to-hand combat, and firearms. Bhatti’s manifesto also referenced conspiracy theories and the Illuminati’s infiltration of major world religions, including Islam.

After Bhatti’s arrest on January 8, police searched a storage unit he had been renting from Rapid Storage Services in Smallfield, Surrey, since March 2019. Inside, they found 119 items, including chemicals, laboratory equipment, and electronic circuitry. A suspected pipe bomb was dismantled by the Army Explosives Ordnance Disposal, revealing it contained around 3.5g of low-quality gunpowder.

Bhatti’s interest in explosives and terrorism started in 2013, and as recently as December 2020, he had looked into ordering large quantities of nitric acid from Pakistan using the Alibaba website. During his trial, Bhatti claimed his activities were the result of boredom and a desire for self-education during a period of unemployment between 2008 and 2011.

Mrs Justice McGowan sentenced Bhatti on Monday, stating that his actions demonstrated a deep-seated hatred for certain groups and that he posed a significant risk of serious harm in the future. Bhatti, who was born in Pakistan but had lived in the UK for most of his life, held a degree in engineering and business studies from the University of Greenwich and had studied with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

In his defence, Edward Henry KC argued that Bhatti was not a typical terrorist, but rather an educated, hard-working, and misunderstood individual with autism, which led him to obsess and fixate on the subjects that resulted in his conviction. Bhatti’s case was described as unique due to his blend of Islam and conspiracy theories.

World News

Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

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