A Muslim convert has pleaded guilty to plotting to massacre around 100 people in a terror attack outside the Disney Store in London’s most famous shopping district, Oxford Street.
Lewis Ludlow, 26, swore allegiance to Islamic State and wrote down his murderous plans on a piece of paper which was later found ripped up in a bin, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Friday.
He was also a follower of the radical preacher and convicted Islamic State recruiter Anjem Choudary, who police allowed for many years to preach in Britain, and feature in the mainstream media.
In March and April of this year, Ludlow made extensive preparations for the attack. He bought a phone under a fake name and researched different targets in London, van rentals, and hotels.
Oxford Street was an “ideal” target he wrote in the incriminating note, adding: “It is expected nearly 100 could be killed in the attack”.
Another note read: “Madame Tussads [sic]. Oxford street busiest time between 11 – 12 particularly Fridays. St Paul’s Cathedral. Shia temple… Further locations scouted for the Kil [sic].”
Lewis Ludlow wrote a note of his potential targets. It included "Madame tussauds", "Oxford Street – busiest time…", and "St Paul's cathedral". It ended with: "Further locations scouted for the kil. (sic)". Read more here https://t.co/b48wOJs43C pic.twitter.com/JhWNyKBLGL
— CPS (@cpsuk) August 10, 2018
According to the BBC, a further note added: “Crowded London Areas, Oxford Street – long road with no bollards or barriers preventing a van mounting the pavement. Busiest time is between 11am – 12pm with Saturday being the busiest day.”
The 26-year-old from Rochester, in Kent, cooked up his plot after he was stopped by police at Heathrow airport in February and blocked from flying to the Philippines.
It was alleged in court he also set up a Facebook account called Antique Collections as a front to send money to the south-east Asian nation for terrorist purposes. He told police he only wanted to go there as a sex tourist.
Now, at a hearing before Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC at the Old Bailey, he pleaded guilty to plotting an attack in the United Kingdom and funding Islamic State abroad.
He was set to go to trial in the Autumn facing two charges of preparing acts of terror and one of funding terror, but will now not face the funding charge as the judge claimed it is not in the public interest.