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Bluewater bomb fantasist hospital target threats

PUBLISHED: 14:46 12 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:32 23 August 2010

A FANATICAL British Muslim who is in prison for threatening to blow up Bluewater shopping centre has been jailed for another 16 months. Saeed Ghafoor, 34, was jailed in June last year after claiming he was plotting to detonate car bombs at the popular sh

A FANATICAL British Muslim who is in prison for threatening to blow up Bluewater shopping centre has been jailed for another 16 months.

Saeed Ghafoor, 34, was jailed in June last year after claiming he was plotting to detonate car bombs at the popular shopping centre in Greenhithe.

But on Friday the father-of-one appeared at the Old Bailey where the court heard he had threatened to blow up Southampton General Hospital on his release from prison

The fantasist asked to see police officers at Belmarsh prison in south London and told them: "I'm a Muslim. I support Al Qaeda."

He claimed he would carry out the attack on the hospital - near his family home - when he was released, using cars packed with gas canisters.

Ghafoor was then interviewed by anti-terrorist officers based in Hampshire two months later and confirmed the threat.

Prosecutor Piers Arnold said: "He recalled speaking to police officers while in prison and telling them about his plan to carry out a terrorist attack at Southampton General Hospital using a car bomb with explosive gas canisters.

"He said he was planning the attack but could not disclose when he was planning to carry it out.

"He said it was a protest against the war in Afghanistan and Iraq and he knew how to make bombs.

'"He said he was carrying out the operation to show his support for Al Qaeda."

The Old Bailey heard Ghafoor had been a happily married teacher of English as a foreign language until the breakdown of his relationship in 2007.

In September that he tried to strangle his sister during a row and in January 2008 was jailed for 12 months.

While serving the sentence at HMP Haverigg, Cumbria, he made a threat to blow up Bluewater - even though he believed it was in Exeter.

Prison manager Dawn Pugh visited Ghafoor in his cell and the prisoner showed her a plan written in Arabic and English, detailing how he would carry out the terror attack.

In October last year he made his threat to target the hospital in Southampton.

Defence barrister Roy Brown told the court that Ghafoor was "bewildered, confused and indecisive" and called him a "fantasist".

Ghafoor, of Honeysuckle Road, Bassett, Southampton, Hampshire, pleaded guilty to

one count of making threats to cause

criminal damage.

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