Birmingham man sentenced to life after trying to make a potential bomb at his home

A Birmingham man who was convicted of a terrorism offence after potentially lethal bomb making equipment was found at his home, has today been jailed for life, to serve a minimum term of 15 years.

Former doorman Zahid Hussain, aged 29, from Naseby Drive, Alum Rock, was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court today (Monday 9 October) after being found guilty of Preparing for Acts of Terrorism at an earlier trial.

Hussain (below) will initially be detained at a regional secure unit. As well as his jail term, he will remain on licence for a further 30 years.

zahid hussain

Officers searched Hussain’s home after he was arrested in August 2015, when he was stopped in Alum Rock and found to be in possession of a knife and crow bar and hand written notes detailing instructions for devices.

At his flat, they discovered he had constructed a home-made pressure cooker device, filled with shrapnel and adapted Christmas tree lights in an attempt to construct an improvised explosive device (IED).

Police also seized dismantled mobile phones and bottle of hydrogen peroxide, together with text books detailing guerrilla warfare techniques and small arms combat and further dismantled electrical items including alarm clocks and doorbell chimes. Hussain was re-arrested on suspicion of terrorism-related matters and charged with preparing for acts of terrorism, contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

Following an examination by medical staff, Hussain was sectioned and detained under the Mental Health Act and remains under the care of mental health professionals. Following a hearing in January 2016 he was declared fit to stand trial.

Chief Superintendent Matt Ward, head of counter terrorism for the West Midlands, said: “The searches of Hussain’s room established he was in possession of component parts and materials which if mixed with others could form a viable explosive device.

“There was no evidence of any intended target or specific attack. But by its very nature, this could have been an extremely dangerous device.

“The Christmas tree lights also found at his address, had been adapted and each one could be used as an explosive initiator or detonator.

“Examination of his computer discovered browsing history relating to terrorism including bomb making, bomb blast injuries - showing he had a consistent and continued interest in terrorism and conflict.

“This was a significant and complex inquiry for West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit to safely deal with these volatile items and seek to establish Hussain’s motives for having them."

If you see or hear something that could be terrorist-related, act on your instincts and call the police in confidence on 0800 789 321 . In an emergency, always dial 999. Visit for more information, including how to report extremist or terrorist content that you come across online.


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