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Jail foils terror copter breakout
An exclusive from the Currant Bun, with a brilliant artists impression of how the plot may have looked had it not been foiled.
JAIL bosses have foiled a plot by some of the country’s most dangerous terrorists to escape in a hijacked helicopter.
Al-Qaeda henchmen on the outside planned to hire the chopper for “business”, then force the pilot to land in prison at gunpoint.
The nine Muslim inmates were to kidnap the jail imam during prayers with weapons hidden in the prison mosque.
They would move to a sports field using him as a shield and be picked up by the helicopter.
But wardens acting on a tip-off swooped on the plotters’ cells hours before the escape bid was due to start.
The nine — including convicted terrorists — were segregated at Full Sutton, East Yorks. They will now be transferred to other jails.
Officials were last night hunting for weapons in the mosque, which doubles as a chapel. One terrorist at the jail is Omar Khyam, 27 — sentenced to at least 20 years in 2007 for leading a gang that planned to blow up Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent and London’s Ministry of Sound nightclub.
Counter terrorism chiefs are understood to have confirmed to the Justice Department that a helicopter was on standby for the audacious plot.
A source said: “This would have been one of the most damaging escapes ever. The intelligence was very strong and from a good source. It had to be acted on immediately.
“It involved some of the most dangerous al-Qaeda terrorists in jail — all of whom are a massive threat. It had been planned for months and the use of a helicopter shows it was sophisticated.”
Security sources are convinced the jail imam was innocent. The source added: “The imam is a respected figure for his ability to embrace all faiths.
“But that makes him a target for the extremists in this jail who want to convert Muslims to their warped views.”
A spokesman for the Justice Department confirmed a possible plot had been uncovered on Friday. He said the Prison Service was investigating.