Men appear in court accused of IS-style terror plot against Jewish community

Walid Saadaoui and Amar Hussein are accused of planning to use automatic firearms in an attack against the Jewish community in north-west England.

Walid Saadaoui, Bilel Saadaoui and Amar Hussein appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court
Walid Saadaoui, Bilel Saadaoui and Amar Hussein appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court (Yui Mok/PA)

Two men who allegedly plotted to carry out an Islamic State-inspired gun attack against the Jewish community have appeared in court.

Walid Saadaoui, 36, of Crankwood Road, Abram, and Amar Hussein, 50, of no fixed abode, are accused of plotting a terror attack designed to cause “multiple fatalities using automatic weapons” in north-west England, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday.

The two men had intended to target “the Jewish community in the North West of England and members of both law enforcement and military” as part of an “Isil or Daesh-inspired terrorist attack”, prosecutors told the court.

Both are charged with the preparation of terrorist acts between December 13 2023 and May 9 2024.

Bilel Saadaoui, 35, of Fairclough Street, Hindley, also appeared before the court accused of making arrangements for Walid Saadaoui – who is his brother – after his death.

He pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to disclose information about an act of terrorism between the same dates.

The defendants appeared separately in the dock, flanked by police officers and wearing grey sweatshirts.

Hussein, who represented himself and had an interpreter, did not speak to confirm his name, date of birth or address.

The other two men spoke only to confirm their identities.

Angelo Saponiere, defending Bilel Saadaoui, said his client was a “family man” who had not known of the alleged plans.

The men were arrested last week after Greater Manchester Police (GMP) executed four warrants in Bolton, Great Lever, Abram and Hindley.

District Judge Louisa Cieciora remanded all three men into custody to appear at the Old Bailey on May 24.

GMP assistant chief constable Rob Potts, who holds responsibility for counter terrorism policing in the North West, spoke after the hearing.

“Today’s first court appearance has outlined some concerning and distressing details about a suspected terrorist plot that we allege was being planned by suspects from Greater Manchester,” he said.

“Firstly, we know how significant the impact of this will be. Particularly for our Jewish community in Greater Manchester and across the country.

“We have worked closely with the Community Security Trust, community groups and key stakeholders prior to today’s hearing, and we will continue to update them and support them throughout the course of this case.

“The wider public will understandably be alarmed too.

“Our preventative action has followed a long-running and carefully-managed investigation.

“We are committed to making sure all communities are safe, and we do not currently believe there is any wider risk directly connected to this case.”

Amanda Bomsztyk, northern regional director of the Community Security Trust, said: “These are very serious allegations of a plan to commit a terrorist attack against British Jews at a time of record antisemitic hate crime levels.

“This is one of a number of recent and ongoing cases that demonstrate why the Jewish community needs such extensive security measures and why our continuing partnership with police and Government is so vital.

“CST thanks Greater Manchester Police and other agencies for their work in this case, and we will continue to work closely with police to provide reassurance and protection for the Jewish community.

“We urge everyone in the community to continue as normal, remain alert and report any antisemitism or suspicious activity at Jewish locations to CST and to the police.”