Islamic terrorism is a cancer that has metastasized and is spreading through the United Kingdom and western Europe at an alarming rate. (It is not so much a problem in eastern Europe since the sensible governments of countries such as Hungary and Poland have taken steps to close their borders and curb immigration from the Middle East and north Africa.) As with cancer, every time you kill one cell, another appears. Then another, and another. And then the host dies.
British authorities think they destroyed one cell of Muslim fanatics today when three British men who dubbed themselves the "Three Musketeers" were convicted at the Old Bailey (London's Central Criminal Court) of plotting a bomb attack on troops or police. Naweed Ali, 29, Khobaib Hussain, 25 and Mohibur Rahman, 33, were found guilty of preparing terrorist acts, after a trial that was partly held in secret for national security reasons (read: to avoid embarrassing British cops for letting these guys run around loose. See below.)
But Walt (I hear you say), there's four Mohammeds there, not three. The fourth, Tahir Aziz, 38, was convicted of the same charge, although he was brought into the plot in its later stages.
Crown prosecutors revealed that Messrs Ali, Hussain and Rahman met while serving prison terms for terrorism offences. They later set up a group on a messaging app called the "Three Musketeers". All the while they were planning further attacks, the men were under surveillance by MI5 (Britain's domestic intelligence service), MI5, which created a fake courier company in Birmingham and hired Hussein and Ali. Nearly a year ago, undercover officers searched Ali's car, and discovered weapons including an imitation handgun, a partially constructed pipe bomb and a meat cleaver with the word "kaffir" (= "infidel" in Arabic) scratched onto the blade.
The four men will be sentenced Thursday. For more details of the plot and police ineptitude, see "'Three musketeers' convicted of plotting terrorist attack", in the Guardian, 2/8/17.