A London resident has been convicted of planning a Lee Rigby style attack before Remembrance Sunday last year. He had listened to a “truly chilling” Islamic State fatwa calling on Muslims to kill western police officers, the court heard.
Nadir Syed, 22, from Southall in West London (pictured left, performing the ‘one god’ terrorist gesture), was arrested hours after buying a chef’s knife in November 2014, just a few days before Remembrance Sunday – Britain’s day of memorial for her armed forces. He was found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court on Monday, where it was heard that he was “obsessed with beheadings”.
The court could not make a decision with regards to the others on trial; Mr. Syed’s cousin, Haseeb Hamayoon, 29, from Hayes, West London (pictured right) and Yousaf Syed, 20, from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Both denied planning acts of terrorism and will be retried.
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The court heard how the men were inspired by, and even kept photos on their phones of Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo, terrorists who hacked to death Drummer Lee Rigby to near Woolwich barracks in 2013.
Max Hill QC, prosecuting, told jurors of the fatwa that the men were responding to, issued by Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad Al Adnani.
“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way, however it may be,” he says.
“Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”
Mr Hill said, according to Channel 4: “All three defendants were demonstrating their support for Isis and acts of terrorism in general, and were interested in knives and killings by beheading.
“All three were ready, we say, for the important Islamic State fatwa exhorting and encouraging such murders.”
At the bringing of this month the court heard how Mr. Syed had given up alcohol, drugs, and listening to music as he became more radicalised in recent years. He denied adopting the name John, in tribute to the ISIS executioner Jihadi John.
He argued that he had purchased the knives as a present for his nan, who lives in High Wycombe. “She’s a housewife and she does a lot of cooking, so I thought I’d get her a set of Victorinox knives”, he told the court.