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Jury told college student had bomb-making chemicals and weapons at his Halifax home

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court

A hate-filled father-of-one “stalked” police officers, a district judge and a female solicitor as he amassed a potentially lethal haul of explosive substances and weapons at his Halifax home.

A crown court jury heard today (Wednesday) how 30-year-old Ashkan Ebrahimi enrolled on a GCSE science course at Calderdale College a month before officers from the North East Counter Terrorism Unit searched his home in Oak Lane, Halifax.

Prosecutor Dafydd Enoch QC alleged that the property, where Ebrahimi lived alone following the breakdown of the relationship with the mother of his young baby, was “the hub” of the defendant’s hate campaign.

Inside the house officers found substances used in bomb-making such as potassium nitrate and glycerine as well as ball bearings and sulphuric acid.

In a walk-in cupboard they also found a collection of legally held weapons such as crossbows, swords and rifles.

Bradford Crown Court heard that listening devices and scanning equipment were also seized along with a bullet-proof vest, a police badge, police Velcro labels, handcuffs and an extendable police baton.

In 2014 police officers had been involved in a domestic incident between Ebrahimi and his then partner which eventually led to the imposition of a non-molestation order by a judge and the seizure of a previous collection of legally held weapons belonging to the defendant.

Mr Enoch alleged that the events in 2014 had “sowed the seeds” for Ebrahimi’s deep-seated hatred of the police and others in authority.

He told the jury that Ebrahimi’s hatred had literally taken over his life and his reason for living was to seek revenge.

“His obsessive personality caused him to research and plan that revenge in great detail,” alleged Mr Enoch.

“He found out information about his targets, photographed their homes, followed them and made notes about them.

“Things were to escalate in a most serious way when his research began to extend to the subject of making bombs.

“He bought different chemicals and other items which he was to store at his house and when looked at overall what he had gathered was the paraphernalia to make explosives and indeed to make homemade bombs.

“He was caught with all this material red-handed in his home.

“When you have heard all the evidence about this ladies and gentlemen you will be left in no doubt that the defendant in this case is a very dangerous man who was not only thinking about hurting or killing people, but who was making real and focused preparations physically to action those thoughts.

“There are those who fantasise about extreme things in the privacy of their own bedroom, but this is not such a case as you will see.

“It is lucky that he was stopped before there was an atrocity.”

Ebrahimi, who is representing himself during the trial, faces a series of charges including three allegations of stalking and possession of explosive substances with intent with intent to endanger life.

Mr Enoch alleged that one purpose for the ball bearings could have been to make a “shrapnel” bomb and some of the chemicals could have been used in “homemade incendiary devices”.

“So we submit that this defendant had deliberately acquired the means to make bombs,” he told the jury.

“There could be no lawful or legitimate reason for his possession of this material.”

Opening the case to the jury Mr Enoch referred to a Facebook post in which Ebrahimi said:”Every single minute the hate is growing more and more...I haaaaaaaate the police that’s all I know in my life”.

Mr Enoch alleged that the police paraphenalia suggested the defendant was planning some sort of physical attack on an officer.

“Why would a man who hates the police so much want to dress up as one?” asked Mr Enoch.

“It’s to get close to them isn’t it. It’s not to that he’s going to a fancy dress party.”

The jury were shown images including one of Ebrahmi posing in front of a Nazi flag and when officers went to his home they found a homemade poster bearing a one-fingered gesture stating:”Game Over PC **** and her colleagues”.

Ebrahimi was arrested on the college campus back in October 2015 and was found to be in possession of a lock knife.

Further police inquiries into his activities found that he had done internet research into nearly 40 individuals, mainly serving police officers, and he also had Facebook profiles relating to “a number of his targets” and their families.

Ebrahimi is also alleged to have travelled in his car to the addresses of some of his targets.

After his arrest Ebrahimi maintained he had no intention of doing anything illegal with the chemicals, many of which had been obtained through Amazon, and claimed he was simply interested in chemistry.

But Mr Enoch submitted that the material was not obtained to do “innocent home experiments”.

The trial continues.