A London teenager who converted to Islam has been found guilty of plotting to behead a British soldier. Brustholm Ziamani, 19, was on his way to carry out the attack when he was arrested. He was also found carrying a hammer and Islamic flag when he was taken into custody in August last year.
Sky News reports that the court heard he had been inspired by the murder of solider Lee Rigby in 2013, who was hacked to death on the streets of London by two Islamist extremists. He had researched local army cadet bases and boasted of his plot to kill soldiers.
Police said that just before he was arrested, Ziamani visited his former girlfriend and showed her a knife and hammer he intended to use to attack soldiers.
Commander Richard Walton of the counter-terrorism command of London’s Metropolitan Police said Ziamani’s plot “starkly illustrates” the threat from ‘lone wolf’ terrorists.
“Ziamani was an impressionable young man who became radicalised then rapidly developed an extremist, violent mindset.”
“Over a series of months, he ultimately developed a desire to carry out a terrorist attack on British soldiers.”
He said that police had prevented a “horrific terrorist attack” in London.
Ziamani’s barrister, Naeem Mian, said the teenager could expect a sentence of “considerable length”, but said he was still “a young man who has no previous convictions at all”.
Before plotting the attack, Ziamani had posted various messages on social media showing signs of radicalisation. In one Facebook post he said: “Sharia Law on its way on our streets we will implement it its part of our religion we will get Dem kufar soon we r soldiers of Allah TAKBIR.”
In another post speaking of murder of Lee Rigby he said: “Why are They acting like Lee Rigby’s death was the worst death ever he just got run over and stabbed left right centre I bet if n Englishmen did it they wont say nuffin or make a big deal over it but two muslim brothers run over dis kaffar n now makin a big deal.”
He is due for sentencing on 20 March.