Cheshire show reassures visitors
The Royal Cheshire County Show has reassured visitors after an Isis fanatic suggested he planned to target last year’s event.
Rabar Mala, 32, was sentenced to eight years in jail for his role as an ‘IT technician’ for Isis, activating Sim cards so that other jihadists could recruit on social media.
A court heard in April that Iraqi-born Mala, arrested at his home address in Longford in Warrington, had sent encrypted messages to fellow Isis ahead of the 2017 show suggesting that he wanted to carry out an attack.
He said: “It is the biggest show in Britain – about half a million people will attend the show. There is everything in it – cars in every type – lorry, trailer, horse, food, house, and window on for BKC (semi-automatic machine gun) and hand grenade – it will start tomorrow. The name of the show is Cheshire Show. I have about seven tickets – it only needs people and weapon – believe it will be hunt for crusaders (Christians).”
The show’s organisers say that, while safety remains of paramount importance, there is no evidence to suggest that a plot of any kind had been formulated.
A spokesman said: “The Royal Cheshire County Show would like to reassure visitors of the Show of the security measures in place after becoming aware of various reports [that] an illegal immigrant based in Cheshire was suggesting an intervention on last year’s Royal Cheshire County Show.
“The Cheshire Agricultural Society regards the safety of all persons, whether visitors, exhibitors or show staff as its highest priority and whilst they take the report extremely seriously, they note that no evidence of an actual plot had been found, just one individual’s suggestion.
“The Show has, and will continue, to be organised under a multiagency (Police, Ambulance, Fire Service and Local Authority) developed and approved Emergency Contingency and Operational Plan.
“The services of a 24 hour professional security company are employed pre, during and post-Show.”
The show attracts almost 100,000 visitors to its Tabley showgrounds each June.
Preparations are well underway for this year’s show, which takes place on June 19 and 20.
Nigel Evans, executive director of the Royal Cheshire County Show, said: “We would, as with any major event, encourage the public to remain vigilant throughout their visit to this year’s Show, and of course to make the most of this fabulous family day out.
“We are advised that there is no intelligence to suggest that the Show is under threat and we continue to look forward to this wonderfully popular annual event.”