Woman who practised knife fights with jihadist brother spared jail for second time

Ellen Manning
·3 min read
Sneha Chowdhury, 26, who practised knife fights with her jihadist brother as he plotted a terror attack, has been spared jail again. (PA)
Sneha Chowdhury, 26, who practised knife fights with her jihadist brother as he plotted a terror attack, has been spared jail again. (PA)

A woman who practised knife fights with her jihadist brother as he plotted a terrorist attack in London has been spared jail a second time.

Sneha Chowdhury, 26, had previously been handed a two-year suspended sentence after being found guilty of failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism.

The sentence was challenged by the Attorney General’s Office as unduly lenient but on Friday the 26-year-old walked free from court for a second time after senior judges decided it was not.

Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of former Uber driver Mohiussunnath Chowdhury who has been jailed at Woolwich Crown Court for life with a minimum term of 25 years after being convicted of planning a terror attack at busy London tourist attractions.
Sneha Chowdhury's brother Mohiussunnath Chowdhury was jailed at Woolwich Crown Court for life with a minimum term of 25 years after being convicted of planning a terror attack at busy London tourist attractions. (PA)

Chowdhury’s brother, former Uber driver Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 25 years in July after planning a gun, knife and van massacre in London.

The 29-year-old was arrested last year after unwittingly revealing plans to target popular tourist attractions in the capital including Madame Tussauds, the gay Pride parade and an open-top sightseeing bus to undercover police officers.

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He also bragged about deceiving an Old Bailey jury which cleared him of a sword attack on police outside Buckingham Palace in August 2017.

During the siblings’ trial at Woolwich Crown Court earlier this year, the court heard that Sneha Chowdhury knew her brother was training with wooden swords, known as bokkens, practising knife fighting and rehearsing beheading attacks at the family home in Luton.

Watch: Man who plotted gun and knife rampage at tourism hotspots jailed

He had returned to the family home in December 2018 after being released from Belmarsh prison when jurors cleared him of slashing police with a sword outside Buckingham Palace while shouting “Allahu Akbar”.

The Court of Appeal heard that undercover police had discovered that he started preparing for another terror attack “within days of his release” and recorded conversations between him and his sister revealed that he had told her he had look at terrorist information on the internet and planned on “doing another attack”.

Chowdhury also told his sister in April 2019 that he needed to “practise decapitation techniques” somewhere no-one would see him, adding: “You can’t do it in the garden.”

In her original sentencing in August, Judge Andrew Lees ruled that Sneha Chowdhury had acted out of “misguided loyalty” to her brother.

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At Friday’s hearing in London, Lady Justice Macur said Judge Lees was “justified” in finding that Chowdhury’s case was “exceptional”, telling the court: “She was subject to controlling behaviour by male members of her family.

“In those circumstances, it is possible, we consider, that this judge’s ultimate sentence cannot be deemed to be unduly lenient.”

Chowdhury sobbed in the public gallery as the decision was announced and hugged her lawyer after she walked free from court for the second time.

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