GMP chief moves to reassure public about ‘disturbing details’ as court hears alleged plot to carry out Islamic State-inspired attack on Jewish community

A Greater Manchester Police chief has reacted to “disturbing details” heard in court after three men were charged following a terror investigation.

Walid Saadaoui, 36, of Crankwood Road, Abram, Wigan, and Amar Hussein, 50, of no fixed abode, are accused of plotting to carry out an Islamic State-inspired gun attack against the Jewish community.

The two men allegedly planned a terrorist attack to cause “multiple deaths using automatic weapons” in north-west England, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard today (May 14).

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The pair also intended to target law enforcement and the military in the “terrorist attack inspired by Isil or Daesh,” prosecutors alleged. Both are accused of preparing terrorist acts between December 13, 2023 and May 9, 2024.

Bilel Saadaoui, 35, of Fairclough Street, Hindley, also appeared in 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.

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

Ahead of the hearing in London, GMP Deputy Chief Constable Rob Potts issued a statement saying the details heard in court were “likely to have a significant impact on communities” in Greater Manchester, but that “everyone should they feel safe regardless of their religion. or race’.

In a further statement issued after the men appeared in court, he said: “Today’s first court appearance highlighted some worrying and distressing details of an alleged terror plot which we allege was planned by suspects in Greater Manchester.

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

The men appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today(Image: PA Archive)

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

“The wider public will understandably be alarmed.”

Police say the charges against all three men follow “a lengthy and carefully managed investigation”.

ACC Potts added: “We are committed to ensuring all communities are safe and we do not currently believe there is a wider risk directly linked to this case. We also know it’s important for communities to feel safe. Local officers will continue to listen and act on concerns with partners to protect the public and keep you safe.

“This is a reminder that the threat of terrorism always remains, but also how hard our specialist officers work to prevent harm to our communities. If you see anything suspicious or have concerns, please call the police and we will do whatever it takes to keep you safe.”

The men were arrested last week after GMP executed four warrants in Bolton, Great Lever, Abram and Hindley. The force said officers patrolled the areas in the following days, but police cordons had all since been lifted.

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