BY TOBY PORTER
A man has been jailed for planning to bomb a mosque after he was found to be collecting fireworks and other explosive parts.
Steven Bishop, 41, from Thornton Heath, pleaded guilty to possession of an explosive substance as well as preparing an act of terrorism, and was given a four-year sentence last Wednesday at Kingston Crown Court.
Bishop, pictured, showed his key worker images of the items he was collecting to build a bomb and told her that he was targeting a mosque.
Detectives found that Bishop had also carried out a number of online searches for a mosque in Morden.
Bishop posted a comment on a video on Facebook about the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, saying: “Don’t worry, something bad is going to happen soon, mark my words.”
Commander Clarke Jarrett, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “From our investigation it was clear Bishop stockpiled a quantity of fireworks and other component parts with the intention of creating a device that he was intending to use to target a mosque.
“Thanks to the diligence of his key worker in alerting us we were able to intervene before he could progress with his plans any further and crucially, nobody came to any harm.
“Given Bishop was focused upon a mosque, and in light of recent events in New Zealand, we also know that Muslim and other faith communities may be feeling particularly concerned and vulnerable.
Specialist officers continue to provide support and protective security advice to mosques, and indeed all places of worship across the UK on how to best keep their buildings and visitors safe.”
When Bishop was arrested by counter terrorism detectives on October 29, 2018, at his address, detectives found several fireworks – some of which had been tampered with, as well as fuses, a remote control and an igniter.
A detonator was also delivered to Bishop’s address two days after his arrest.
Detectives also found a number of hand-written notes by Bishop with detailed information on how to make various explosive substances, as well as information on how to access the dark web.
On Bishop’s smart phone detectives also discovered he had been researching details on explosives detonators.
In a garden shed at Bishop’s mother’s house, detectives found a red suitcase inside with component parts that could be combined to create a bomb.
Bishop will serve an additional year on licence and was sentenced to two years in prison for the terrorism offences that will be served at the same time.