Junead Khan, 25, a lorry driver from Luton has been found guilty of plotting a Lee Rigby-style Islamic terrorist attack against U.S. military personnel stationed in Britain.
During his trial at Kingston Crown Court, jurors heard that Mr. Khan had shared a number of Islamic State images via WhatsApp following his arrest last July. One was an article headlined “Exclusive: West can’t defeat IS”, featuring an interview with Abu Rahin Aziz, a British jihadi killed in an airstrike in Syria last year.
Prosecutor Max Hill put it to Mr. Khan that: “When his death by drone strike was announced in early July last year… you regarded him as a hero.”
Mr. Khan replied: “Hero in the sense that he was fighting and defending innocent civilians,” and claimed to have known Aziz from his time in Luton.
He also told jurors: “I support the shariah and caliphate. I wish to live under a shariah and caliphate, but I do not wish to become a fighter myself.”
The jury found that Mr. Khan had planned to travel to Syria to become a fighter, but had changed his mind – instead planning an attack on British soil. The target was to be an American airman based either at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk.
Mr. Khan is said to have come up with the plan while driving past the location for work last year, and hoped to model the attack on that of the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in 2013. A knife similar to that used by Jihadi John, and an Islamic State flag which it is believed he planned to unfurl at the scene were found in his possession.
Rigby was hit by a car and hacked to death by two London-born terrorists as he walked along the street near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, southeast London.
Along with his uncle, Shazib Ahmed Khan, 23, Junead Khan was also found guilty of plotting to go to Syria to join Islamic State.
Mr. Khan will be sentenced on May 13.