News & Insights
Asad Bhatti, a 49-year-old financial analyst, has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted of possessing bomb-making materials.
During the investigation, detectives discovered a stash of chemicals and circuitry capable of making explosives at Bhatti’s residence. An improvised explosive device and a chemical mixture known as ‘black powder’ were also found in a rented storage unit. Bhatti’s computer revealed a significant library of bomb-making instruction manuals, as well as a 173-page handbook he had compiled, which included sections on ‘martyrdom’ and ‘jihad.’
Described as ‘intelligent’ and ‘well-educated,’ Bhatti harboured a deep-seated hatred towards a specific group of Muslims he referred to as ‘The Hypocrites,’ as well as individuals based on their race and sexuality.
Bhatti’s activities came to light when he took his laptop to a computer repair shop, instructing the owner not to access his data. However, the owner, discovered the bomb-making materials and promptly notified the police.
The unfinished manual, titled “The Mu’min’s Handbook,” contained chapters on explosives, hand-to-hand combat, and firearms. It also identified a perceived global enemy to Islam, including corrupt heads of governments, religious scholars, and black magicians.
Detectives found an Excel file on Bhatti’s computer listing various disasters, categorised by the number of deaths or injuries caused, with disparaging remarks towards homosexuals and black people.
Throughout his trial, Bhatti denied being racist or homophobic, claiming that he possessed the materials for lawful experimentation and out of curiosity. He further claimed to have poured away nitroglycerine in his garden as part of his experiments.
Defending Bhatti, Edward Henry KC, said: ‘[He is] a fallible human being. An invisible cognitive disability [autism] has moulded his life.
‘That immensely fallible human being hardly measures up to the crimes he has been convicted of.
‘Autism is vitally important here. He sought to categorise and compartmentalise aspects of his life.
‘He desired certainty above all else. He needed certainty, peppered with conspiracy theories.
‘What he wanted to do was to reduce the world to his own reason. This man is sad. He’s been isolated, he’s been lonely all his life.’
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