A clinical support worker who is accused of planning terrorist attacks on a hospital and an RAF base has admitted possessing a pressure cooker bomb.
Mohammed Farooq, 27, was arrested in the early hours of January 20 in the grounds of St James’s Hospital, Leeds.
He is due to go on trial later this week. On Monday, potential jurors were told by a judge that he is accused of ‘an alleged plan to target RAF Menwith Hill in Harrogate and St James’s Hospital in Leeds in a terrorist attack’.
During the hearing at Sheffield Crown Court, Farooq denied charges of preparing terrorist acts and possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life
However, Farooq has pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing an explosive substance in suspicious circumstances.
A member of the bomb disposal unit wearing protective equipment at St James’s Hospital, Leeds, where patients and staff were evacuated from some parts of the building following the discovery of a suspicious package
The incident took place outside the Gledhow Wing in St James Hospital, which houses the majority of its maternity services including the delivery suite
The latter charge states that between January 18 and January 21, he possessed ‘an improvised explosive device manufactured from a pressure cooker and 9.9kg of a low explosive mixture’ plus ‘3.8kg of a low explosive mixture’, as well as pyrotechnic fuses.
He also admitted a charge of possessing a document likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, which relates to a series of notes on a mobile phone on the manufacture of the toxic substances racin, sarin, VX, tabun and tetrodoxin.
Farooq also pleaded guilty to having an imitation firearm with criminal intent, namely a Gediz 9mm PAK semi-automatic pistol, and possession of the same imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Farooq denies engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.
This charge alleges that, between July 12, 2021 and January 21 2023, he engaged in conduct including ‘manufacturing or assembling an improvised explosive device’.
It also alleges that he travelled to locations between January 19 and 20, 2023, ‘in order to carry out an attack’ and conducted reconnaissance of ‘potential locations for attack’.
The charge further alleges that he acquired a document titled ‘Safety and security guidelines for lone wolf Mujahideen and small cells’.
Farooq appeared in the dock wearing a blue T-shirt and with a number of prison officers.
The judge, Mr Justice Hilliard, said the trial is expected to begin on Thursday.