A “SELF-radicalised lone wolf terrorist” who planned to attack a North Yorkshire military base has been found guilty of preparing terrorist acts.

A jury at Sheffield Crown Court heard that Mohammad Farooq, 28, carried out “extensive research” on RAF Menwith Hill.

But he decided against carrying out an attack on the base near Harrogate.

Instead, said prosecution barrister Jonathan Sandiford KC, he took a bomb to St James’ Hospital in Leeds intending to “kill as many nurses as possible”.

But a patient Nathan Newby, who was outside having a cigarette, saw him and realised something was amiss.

“That simple act of kindness almost certainly saved many lives that night because, as the defendant was later to tell the police officers who arrested him, Mr Newby succeeded in ‘talking him down’,” said Mr Sandiford.

Farooq, a clinical support worker at the hospital, admitted firearms offences, possessing an explosive substance with intent and having a document likely to be useful to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism.

He denied preparing terrorist acts, with defence counsel Gul Nawaz Hussain KC telling jurors Farooq was not an extremist but a “troubled man” who was motivated by “deep rooted anger and grievance” towards his colleagues.

On Tuesday a jury convicted him of the offence after deliberating for less than two hours.

Bethan David, head of the CPS Counter Terrorism Division, said: “Farooq is an extremely dangerous individual who amassed a significant amount of practical and theoretical information that enabled him to produce a viable explosive device.

“He then took that homemade explosive device to a hospital where he worked with the intention to cause serious harm. Examination of his electronic devices revealed a hatred towards his colleagues at work and those he considered non-believers.

“It is clear from his internet searches that he was also conducting extensive research of RAF Menwith Hill, with a view to launching a potential attack.

RAF Menwith HillRAF Menwith Hill (Image: Google maps)

“The extremist views Farooq holds are a threat to our society, and I am pleased the jury found him guilty of his crimes.”

At the start of the trial, Mr Sandiford told jurors RAF Menwith Hill near Harrogate had been designated as a target by the so-called Islamic State because it was believed it had been used to co-ordinate drone strikes against terrorists.

Movements of Farooq’s mobile phone and car showed he made at least two visits to the area of Menwith Hill in the 10 days leading up to his arrest, jurors were told.

The jury heard Farooq was arrested outside St James’s Hospital in Leeds with a pressure cooker bomb designed to be twice as powerful as those used by the Boston Marathon bombers in 2013.

Farooq had immersed himself in an “extremist Islamic ideology” and went to the hospital to “seek his own martyrdom” through a “murderous terrorist attack”.