LONDON (AP) — A British delivery driver was convicted Friday of planning to attack American military personnel in the U.K. with knives or a bomb in a plot inspired by the Islamic State group.
A jury at London’s Kingston Crown Court found Junead Khan guilty of preparing an act of terrorism.
The 25-year-old’s work for a pharmaceutical firm took him past several U.S. air bases in eastern England, and prosecutors said he discussed ways of targeting them with an IS militant in Syria.
Prosecutors said Khan, who was arrested in July, had exchanged online messages with a man calling himself Abu Hussain. They discussed attacking military personnel after faking a road accident.
They said Abu Hussain was British-born militant Junaid Hussain, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in the IS stronghold of Raqqa last year.
In one exchange, Khan told Hussain he had seen some soldiers driving, “but I had nothing on me or wouldve (sic) got into an accident with them and made them get out the car.”
Hussain replied: “That’s what the brother done with Lee Rigby.” Rigby was a British soldier who was run down by a car and stabbed to death by two al-Qaida-inspired attackers in 2013.
When police raided Khan’s home, they found an IS-style black flag and a laptop containing an article from an al-Qaida magazine entitled “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom.”
Khan and his 23-year-old uncle, Shazib Khan, were also convicted of preparing to join IS militants in Syria.
Both men will be sentenced May 13. Junead Khan faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
After the verdict, police revealed that officers had visited Junead Khan four times in 2014 “to try and encourage him away from extremism.”
After the visits he messaged his uncle: “They trying to stop me from becoming a extremist or terrorist lool (sic).” Shazib replied “That crack me up.”