"Would it make a big explosion if it was in stand still traffic?"
An Asian teen received a jail sentence for attempting to murder his parents with a car bomb. At Birmingham Crown Court, the judge sentenced him to 8 years in prison.
The trial took place on 12th January 2018. Identified as 19-year-old Gurtej Singh Randhawa, he had bought the dangerous device from the dark web.
The teenager planned the attempt as his mother discovered he was dating a girl she disapproved of. During the trial, the court heard he became concerned his parents would end his relationship.
With these fears, Gurtej planned to kill them and bought a remotely denotated explosive. He ordered it from a website called AlphaBay.
However, FBI agents intercepted his delivery and swapped it with a dummy package. In May 2017, he received the package, believing it contained the explosive, from the agents who posed as dealers.
While waiting for the delivery, he queried about its radius blast and asked: “Would it make a big explosion if it was in stand still traffic?”
The agents delivered the dummy package to an address Gurtej gave when making the order. Once arrived, the National Crime Agency (NCA) watched him closely as he tested the device.
Officers from the NCA’s Armed Operations Unit arrested him in the same month. Two women were also arrested at the time, aged 45 and 18. But they were both released with no further action.
Gurtej admitted to attempting to import a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) in July.
In November, he was found guilty of maliciously possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury.
Now he will serve 8 years in jail. After giving the sentence, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said:
“You are plainly highly intelligent and capable of determined manipulation. You told sustained lies to your girlfriend and her family about your own parents, particularly your father.”
“I have no doubt that this offence was motivated by your desire to live with your girlfriend and attend university together.
“How the major changes in your life that you wished for were to be achieved, included endangering the life of your father by setting off an explosion in his car.”
After the trial, Tim Gregory of the NCA’s Armed Operations Unit said:
“The explosive device Randhawa sought to purchase online had the potential to cause serious damage and kill many people if he had been successful in using it.
“He was not involved in an organised crime group or linked to terrorism, but his actions show he is someone who poses a significant risk to the community.
“Identifying people like Randhawa – who seek to access illegal firearms and weapons – is a priority for the NCA and we will not stop in our efforts to make sure they are arrested and held accountable for their actions.”
Prior to his crime, Gurtej was an A-Level student and had accepted an offer to study medicine at Liverpool University. However, he will now begin his jail sentence.