Two Muslim killers have been convicted of threatening to kill a prison guard at a high-security jail in East Yorkshire – but cleared of kidnapping him.
A trial at the Old Bailey in London heard Feroz Khan (left), 26, and Fuad Awale (right), 26, tried to take over HMP Full Sutton after an imam holding a prayer service at the jail offered his condolences to the family of murdered soldier Lee Rigby.
The pair targeted prison guard Richard Thompson, believing him to be ex-British military, and demanded the release of hate preacher Abu Qatada.
Khan battered Mr Thompson, fracturing his eye socket, before threatening to kill him.
The jury convicted Khan of making threats to kill and causing grievous bodily harm after 13 hours’ deliberations. He was cleared of false imprisonment and assaulting a second prison guard, Rachel Oxtoby.
Awale was convicted of making threats to kill but cleared of false imprisonment.
A third man, convicted killer David Watson, 27, was also cleared of false imprisonment.
The two men will be sentenced on April 7th.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom, lead for the North East Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “The incident at HMP Full Sutton was terrifying for all involved and in particular the prison officer who found himself at the centre of this attack.
“This attack was unprovoked and pre-planned. Thankfully, Khan and Awale were prevented from carrying out their threats in full and prison staff escaped with serious, but not life threatening, injuries.
“Khan and Awale are dangerous, violent individuals who threatened the lives of innocent people. They have shown they deserve no place in our society and we are grateful that they will remain behind bars for the foreseeable future.”
The Old Bailey heard relations between staff and Muslim inmates at Full Sutton had become tense following Drummer Rigby’s death last May 22.
Four days later, Mr Thompson was ambushed as he walked into a cleaning office on the prison’s Echo Wing and held hostage for nearly five hours.
As Mr Thompson was pinned to his chair, Awale pointed a sharp implement at his throat and said: ‘Stop struggling, I’ve killed two people – I’ll kill you’.
Khan told prison guards outside the office that only a few were allowed to remain for negotiations – which included the release of Qatada, then awaiting deportation to Jordan to face terror charges.
After the siege was broken up by riot officers, Khan made a full confession, stating the attack had been his idea.
Mr Thompson was treated for his injuries at York Hospital’s A&E while another guard suffered bruising and scratches to her arm during the struggle.
Khan, Awale and Watson were all serving life sentences for murder at the time.
On February 26, 2007, Khan shot his friend Skander Rehman in the back of the head at point blank range after luring him to a park in Bradford – wrongly believing he was having an affair with his wife.
He began practising Islam at HMP Wakefield where he claims staff treated him differently once he grew a beard and started praying.
Like Khan, Somali-born Awale became a devout Muslim once he had been convicted of the double murder of two teenagers, shot in a Milton Keynes drug war in January last year.
Watson, a white Muslim convert, stabbed a security guard to death at a HMV store in Norwich’s Chapelfield shopping centre after being caught with a stolen CD on December 18, 2006. He converted to Islam following his conviction in August 2007.