UK Foiled Terror Plots

CST's Terrorism Databases offer unique insights into UK terror attacks and plots, from 2013-present. They summarise and classify UK terror incidents, allowing users to filter through and search for different trends and patterns. The databases are updated regularly and are designed to be operationally and analytically relevant. CST has endeavoured to be as accurate as possible, which is a challenge in the absence of an official public record of terror plots. Contact [email protected] if you want to report an error or omission. See CST's Terrorism Databases Explainer for user guidance, criteria used, infographics and an analysis of UK terrorism trends. Note that defendants acquitted of terrorist attack planning are listed separately.

Last Updated: July 2022

Showing 1–42 of 42 results

Essex teenager Islamist terror plot (alleged) – 2022

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Undetermined

Target Type
Police-military-security

Date
May 2022

Region Targeted
Undetermined

Country Targeted
Undetermined

Weapons
Undetermined

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Arrest Date
18 May 2022

Perpetrator Status
Charged/Trial

Conviction Date
Undetermined

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Essex

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

On 18 May 2022, Metropolitan Police arrested Matthew King, 18, from Essex on terrorism-related charges. On 1 June, King was charged with preparation of terrorist acts, between 22 December 2021 and 17 May 2022, contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.  

Prosecutors accused King of plotting an Islamist terror attack against either on-duty police officers or military personnel. He allegedly carried out reconnaissance at railway stations, police stations, military barracks in East Ham and Stratford Magistrates’ Court.

On 20 May 2022, an unnamed 17-year-old female was arrested under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 at an address in east London as part of the same investigation, but she was later released without charge.

Charges are not proof of guilt, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in trial or offers a guilty plea.

London and Leeds teenagers' ISIS-inspired plot (alleged) – 2022

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Undetermined

Target Type
Undetermined

Date
March 2022

Region Targeted
Undetermined

Country Targeted
Undetermined 202

Weapons
Undetermined

Number of Plotters
2

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
3 March 2022

Perpetrator Status
Charged/Trial

Conviction Date
Undetermined

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Enfield, north London

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

 On 25 March 2022, Al-Arafat Hassan, 19, from Enfield, north London, and a 15-year-old boy from Leeds appeared for a hearing charged with preparing terrorism acts. 

Between 12 January and 27 February 2022, Hassan allegedly downloaded an Islamic State (ISIS) video that included details on bombmaking and killing people with knives, bought weapons and collected chemicals as ingredients for explosives.

Hassan was arrested on 3 March and charged on 8 March with preparation of terrorist acts (contrary Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006) and collection of information likely to be useful to a person preparing an act of terrorism (contrary to Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000).

The 15-year-old boy from Leeds, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested as part of the same operation and is accused of the research and purchase of knives and online research to acquire components for an explosive device between 9 January and 20 March 2022.

The pair were remanded in custody and a provisional trial date set for 4 October 2022 at Leeds Crown Court.

Charges are not proof of guilt, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in trial or offers a guilty plea.

Tyne and Wear teenager terror plot (alleged) – 2021

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Undetermined

Target Type
Police-military-security, Targeted minorities, Other

Date
October 2021

Region Targeted
Northumbria

Country Targeted
Undetermined

Weapons
Undetermined

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
28 October 2021

Perpetrator Status
Charged/Trial

Conviction Date
Undetermined

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Washington, Tyne and Wear

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

On 28 October 2021, Luke Skelton (aged 18 at the time) was arrested as part of an investigation into extreme right-wing terrorism by Counter Terrorism Policing North East and Northumbria Police.

In November 2021, Skelton, from Washington, Tyne and Wear, in north east England, was charged with engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). He denies preparing acts of terrorism.

Skelton allegedly researched explosive ingredients and wrote a draft manifesto and a final note. He also allegedly planned an attack targeting police stations, drag queens and “Muslim rape gangs” in October 2021.

On 13 May 2022, the jury in Skelton's trial was discharged after failing to reach a verdict on the single charge against him of preparing to commit a terrorist act. He may face a retrial.

Charges are not proof of guilt, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in trial or offers a guilty plea.

West Midlands communications infrastructure plot (alleged) – 2021

Incident Summary

Ideology
Single-issue extremism

Modus Operandi
Undetermined

Target Type
Critical infrastructure, Transport, Other

Date
August 2021

Region Targeted
West Midlands

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Undetermined

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Arrest Date
25 August 2021

Perpetrator Status
Charged/Trial

Conviction Date
Undetermined

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Coalville, Leicestershire

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Oliver Lewin (aged 37) is accused of planning coordinated terrorist attacks on transmitter masts in the West Midlands, between 24 July and 25 August 25 2021.

Lewin, from Coalville in Leicestershire, allegedly used Telegram to recruit people to “commit attacks on vital national infrastructure”. 

The prosecution claimed that Lewin wrote a manual stating his wish for civilians to fight against the “emergence of a Chinese communist system” in the UK and to overthrow the government. Lewin's alleged target list included media, transport, power and communications networks.

Lewin allegedly undertook hostile reconnaissance of communications masts in the West Midlands and believed that an "apocalyptic event" would take place during autumn 2021. 

Lewin was arrested on 25 August and charged on 31 August with being engaged in the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006).

On 10 February, Lewin pleaded not guilty and will remain in custody. His trial is scheduled to begin on 22 August 2022. 

Charges are not proof of guilt, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in trial or offers a guilty plea.

Leamington Spa man's plot (alleged) – 2021

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Undetermined

Target Type
Undetermined

Date
April 2021

Region Targeted
Undetermined

Country Targeted
Undetermined

Weapons
Firearm

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
12 April 2021

Perpetrator Status
Charged/Trial

Conviction Date
Undetermined

Anti-Jewish Targeting
Yes

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

In April 2021, Ben Styles (aged 23 at the time), from Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, was arrested and charged with several terrorism offences, including allegations that he was planning a right-wing terrorist attack. 

Styles was charged under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 (commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism) and three counts under of Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (possessing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism).

Styles also faces additional charges of possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of ammunition and possession of Class A drugs. He denies the charges.

The trial commenced in late February 2022 in Birmingham Crown Court. The prosecution claims that, between February 2019 and February 2021, Styles purchased items and acquired instructions to construct a lethal firearm and live ammunition. He allegedly started constructing a homemade submachine gun in his garage, manufactured live ammunition and wrote a draft manifesto.

The prosecution also accused Styles of building the weapon as part of his “mission” of fighting in a religious war against Jews and other targets of right-wing terrorists. Prior to arrest, Styles reportedly posted in an online group called "#Kill All the Jews” and described the Holocaust to friends as the “holohoax”. 

The prosecution also claimed that in 2019 Styles messaged after the terror attacks against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that said as follows: “I just got back from New Zealand – it made me super racist. Then that happened and I had a good day".

Charges are not proof of guilt, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in trial or offers a guilty plea.

Essex teenager 3D gun plot – 2020

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Shooting

Target Type
Individual civilian, Targeted minorities

Date
December 2020

Region Targeted
Essex

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Firearms

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
29 December 2020

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
3 September 2021

Anti-Jewish Targeting
Yes

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
Yes

City of Plotter
Ingatestone, Essex

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

In September 2021, Matthew Cronjager (aged 18), from Ingatestone, Essex, was convicted of multiple terrorism charges, including plotting right-wing terrorist acts. 

In October 2021, he was sentenced to 11 years' and 4 months' detention in a young offenders institution. He was arrested in December 2020 aged 17.

Cronjager drew up plans for a storage bunker; provided information for the manufacture of two firearms (Cheetah-9 and FGC-9) using a 3D printer; and transferred money for the purchase of materials to manufacture the firearms.

Specifically, he attempted to produce or procure a 3D printed firearm or a sawn-off shotgun to kill an Asian friend over the friend's boasts that he had slept with white women.

Cronjager also discussed aspirations to target Jews, Muslims, homosexuals and the UK government. The jury heard that his targets included “powerful Jewish figures in banks and stuff”.

Cronjager, who is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, was the UK leader of the Telegram-based extreme right-wing group called “Exiled 393 library” and was also active on The British Hand group. He participated in providing an online library of right-wing extremist material, including propaganda and manuals.

From August 2020, Cronjager unwittingly engaged online with an undercover police officer, sending the officer money and instructions for a contact to produce a 3D-printed firearm.

Cronjager was found guilty of two terrorism offences:

  • Engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006)
  • Disseminating a terrorist publication (contrary to Section 2 (1) of the Terrorism Act 2006)

At the start of the trial, Cronjager pleaded guilty to four offences of possessing material likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism (contrary to Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2006).

In sentencing Cronjager, Judge Lucraft QC stated as follows:

“You are someone who, in your own words, had fascist beliefs and wanted to bring about a change of government by violence…In the messages that were found, and in ones passing between you and an undercover officer that you had deleted but he retained, you expressed hatred for people of different coloured skin, for Jewish people, Muslims and those of a different sexual orientation to your own. You expressed a desire to bring about your own revolution based on your own racist ideology...In my view you are someone who played a leading role in terrorist activity where the preparations were not far advanced”.

East London man's sword attack plot – 2020

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing

Target Type
Undetermined

Date
July 2020

Region Targeted
Undetermined

Country Targeted
Undetermined

Weapons
Sword, Lock knife, ballistic vest

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
9 July 2020

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
12 March 2021

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Dagenham, Essex

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

On 12 March 2021, Sahayb Aweys Munye Abu (aged 27 at the time) was convicted of preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). He was arrested on 9 July 2020 in relation to a plot to perpetrate an ISIS-inspired sword attack, though his target or targets are unknown.

In March 2020, the Met's Counter-Terrorism Command (SO15) and MI5 started investigating Abu who later spoke to an undercover officer about obtaining firearms. Following Abu's conviction, the commander of SO15 said that, "I have no doubt in my mind of his murderous intent in preparing to carry out a terrorist attack".

Sahayb Abu ordered weapons, equipment and clothing online in preparation for an attack. Among these items was a large sword (46cm), lock knife, ballistic vest, two balaclavas and a camo-print fisherman’s hat with face and neck cover. 

Following Abu's arrest, police found dozens of videos and voice messages of him reciting lyrics with extremist views, including “got my suicide vest, one click boom and I’ll see you later” and calling himself an ISIS supporter. Abu visited websites with ISIS material and downloaded ISIS propaganda. On the day of his arrest, he posted a message in a chat group saying “we need a 9/11 2.0”.

Abu’s two half-brothers, Wail and Suleyman Aweys, joined ISIS in Syria in 2015 and were later killed. Three other relatives were jailed in 2019 for disseminating ISIS propaganda. Additionally, Abu socialised with terrorist prisoners while serving a sentence for commercial burglary following a conviction in June 2018. 

Abu’s brother, Muhamed Aweys Munye Abu, who was also on trial, was acquitted of failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism. 

St Paul's Cathedral bomb plot – 2019

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Bombing

Target Type
Indoor venue, Place of worship, Iconic location

Date
October 2019

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Undetermined

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Arrest Date
10 October 2019

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
21 February 2020

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Hayes, Middlesex

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Safiyya Amira Shaikh (aged 36 at the time) was convicted of planning an ISIS-inspired planted bombing attack at a London hotel and St Paul’s Cathedral. Shaikh, from Hayes, Middlesex, converted to Islam in 2007 and changed her name from Michelle Ramsden.

Shaikh researched attack methods, decided on an attack plan and travelled to London. She contacted a person, an undercover officer, whom she believed could help prepare explosives. Shaikh supplied the person with two bags, intending IEDs be fitted to them. 

Shaikh also conducted hostile reconnaissance in person and decided the hotel was a suitable bombing target, and she attended St Paul’s to surveil the location and identify where to place a second explosive device. She also prepared a pledge of allegiance to the then leader of ISIS.

Shaikh pleaded guilty to one count of preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006) and one count of dissemination of terrorist publications (contrary to Section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006). The latter charge related to disseminating terrorist publications on Telegram.

In July 2020, Shaikh received a life sentence with a minimum of 14 years in prison.

Rugby teenager plot – 2019

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Shooting

Target Type
Undetermined

Date
September 2019

Region Targeted
Undetermined

Country Targeted
Undetermined

Weapons
Bladed weapons, air rifles, shotgun cartridges, bullet casings

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
3 September 2019

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
2 October 2020

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
Yes

City of Plotter
Rugby, Warwickshire

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

In September 2019, Paul Dunleavy (aged 16 at the time) was arrested at his home in Rugby, Warwickshire. In October 2020, he was found guilty of the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorism (under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). No specific targets were identified.

Prior to the jury’s verdict, Dunleavy admitted nine counts of collecting terrorism information (contrary to Section 58 of the Terrorism Act). In November 2020, Dunleavy was jailed for five years and six months. 

Dunleavy, a former Royal Air Cadet, became a member online of the Feuerkrieg Division (FKD) in July 2019. He had submitted an online application to join the neo-Nazi group and listed his heroes as Adolf Hitler and American neo-Nazi James Mason, the author of The Siege, an extremist book that advocates 'accelerationist' violence. He also completed a test survey in which he expressed a hatred for Jews.

During online conversations, Dunleavy suggested he was planning to convert a blank firing weapon into a working firearm. He was in possession of more than 90 documents on explosives, firearms and military tactics, as well as online material with extreme right-wing content.

Dunleavy's phone had numerous clips of extreme right-wing shooting attacks in Christchurch, El Paso, Norway and others. Dunleavy also possessed knives, air rifles, shotgun cartridges, bullet casings and other equipment in his bedroom.

For more details, see the court judgment (21 January 2021) denying Dunleavy leave to appeal.

Gay Pride Parade plot – 2019

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Undetermined

Target Type
Public area, Targeted minorities, Iconic location, Indoor venue

Date
July 2019

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Replica pistol and bladed weapons

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
3 July 2019

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
10 February 2020

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Luton

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

In February 2020, Mohiussunnath Chowdhury (aged 28 at the time) was convicted on multiple terrorism charges, including attack planning.

He considered attacking crowded tourist attractions in central London (Madame Tussauds and open-top tour buses), as well as London’s Gay Pride event on 6 July 2019. Chowdhury had described the Pride parade a desirable target due to “piss poor security”.

Chowdhury bought a replica pistol and attempted to procure a real firearm. He collected knives and practised wielding them and stabbing, though he never settled on a specific attack plan. Chowdhury’s attack intentions were revealed due to a covert counterterrorism police operation.

During the trial, the prosecution said that Chowdhury was inspired by al-Qaeda and Khalid Masood, the perpetrator of the 2017 Westminster Bridge/Parliament attack.

Ultimately, Chowdhury was found guilty of the following:

  • Preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 (1) (a) of the Terrorism Act 2006
  • Dissemination of terrorist publications (contrary to Section 2(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006)
  • Possession of a document or record of use to a terrorist (contrary to Section 58 (1) (b) of the Terrorism Act 2000)

Chowdhury's sister, Sneha Chowdhury (aged 25), was convicted on one count of failing to disclose information regarding her brother’s planned terrorism. Both siblings were arrested in Luton, where they resided.

In July 2020, Mohiussunnath was jailed for life and must serve at least 25 years in prison. In August 2020, Sneha was given a suspended two-year prison term.

In December 2018, Mohiussunnath was acquitted in a separate trial of preparing acts of terrorism. Armed with a samurai-style sword, he was involved in a violent struggle with police outside Buckingham Palace on 25 August 2017.

Shortly after his release, Chowdhury began posting online messages demonstrating his jihadi mindset. Covert recordings shared at the second trial revealed Chowdhury bragging that he had deceived the jury in his first trial and had, in fact, wanted to kill a soldier at Buckingham Palace.

Durham teenager plot – 2019

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Shooting, Bombing, Arson

Target Type
Transport, Public area, Place of worship, Targeted minorities, Other

Date
March 2019

Region Targeted
Durham

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Undetermined

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Online

Arrest Date
13 March 2019

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
20 November 2019

Anti-Jewish Targeting
Yes

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
Yes

City of Plotter
Durham

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

In November 2019, Jack Reed (aged 16 at the time), from Durham, was convicted of six terrorism offences, including planning to commit violence motivated by an extreme antisemitic and white supremacist ideology. He was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison in January 2020.

Reed's planning included reading far-right ideological material, searching information on synagogues and trying to obtain ammonium nitrate. Prosecution claimed in court that he kept diaries similar to Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the perpetrators of the 1999 Columbine High School mass shooting in Colorado. Reed also reportedly had satanic beliefs that created a sadistic mentality.

Reed's diary-manifesto was titled “Storm 88 - A manual for practical sensible guerrilla warfare against the kike system in Durham city area, Sieg Heil.” He wrote about numerous potential targets.

Reed also had plans to firebomb synagogues in the Durham area, and his online searches included looking for “Newcastle synagogue” and a “map of synagogues in the UK”.

Some of the teenager’s diary was made public after the trial, and one page clearly shows where and why he wanted to attack:

“There are several areas in Durham worth attacking, and here’s why:
*Post offices – cuts off communication
*Telephone wires – the same reason
*Pubs – prevents degeneracy, scares/angers laymen
*Passport office – responsible for immigration
*Bus station – large modem of transport for government workers
*Schools – serve as centres of indoctrination for the youth
*Council buildings – weakens their grip over the city
*Banks – obvious reasons"

In November 2019, Reed was found guilty of the following offences:

  • One offence of engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006)
  • One offence of disseminating terrorist publications (contrary to Section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006)
  • One offence of possessing material for terrorist purposes (contrary to Section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000)
  • Three offences of collecting or possessing information useful in the preparation of an act of Terrorism (contrary to Section 58(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2000)

Germany ramming & stabbing plot – 2018

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Vehicle ramming, Stabbing, Bombing

Target Type
Public area

Date
December 2018

Region Targeted
Outside UK

Country Targeted
Germany

Weapons
Bomb experiments

Number of Plotters
3

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
11 December 2018

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
20 March 2020

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Newcastle

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

In March 2020, Fatah Mohammed Abdullah (aged 33 at the time) pleaded guilty to preparing others to commit acts of terrorism and inciting terrorism overseas. 

Abdullah, from Newcastle, incited others to commit an attack in Germany by driving a vehicle into a crowd, attacking people with a meat cleaver, knife or sword and causing an explosion.

Ahmed Hussein and Omar Babek were convicted and sentenced in Germany for the preparation of a serious act of violent subversion involving unlawful handling of explosive substances. 

In Abdullah’s home, police recovered materials to make explosives. He bought thousands of matches, pre-cursor chemicals, fireworks, fuses and other components used to produce an IED.

Abdullah also recorded himself detailing how to test a remote-control detonator and shared the video with Hussein and Babek in Germany.

Abdullah also encouraged Hussein and Babek to obtain a firearm and to use a meat cleaver, knife or sword to kill as many people as possible. Police also found material on Abdullah’s devices showing support for ISIS and extreme violence. He made video and audio recordings detailing the steps that should be taken to prepare for and conduct an attack. 

Abdullah's offences were as follows:

  • Engaging in conduct in preparation for giving effect to an intention to assist others to commit terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 (1) (b) of the Terrorism Act 2006)
  • Inciting terrorism overseas (contrary to Section 59 (1) and (2) of the Terrorism Act 2000)

In June 2020, Abdullah was jailed for life. 

Morden mosque bombing plot – 2018

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Bombing

Target Type
Place of worship, Targeted minorities

Date
October 2018

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Fireworks

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Online

Arrest Date
29 October 2018

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
9 April 2019

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Thornton Heath, London

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Steven Bishop (aged 41 at the time), from south London, stockpiled material with the intention of devising an explosive device that he was planning to use in a terrorist attack on a mosque in Morden, south west London. He conducted online reconnaissance on the target.

According to police, Bishop was obsessed with a young victim of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing. He viewed videos about the 2017 Manchester and London Bridge attacks, as well as the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks.

In April 2019, Bishop pleaded guilty to possession of an explosive substance with intent (contrary to Section 3 of the Explosive Substances Act 1883). He had previously pleaded guilty to collection or making a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism (contrary to Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000).

On 10 April 2019, Bishop was sentenced to four years in prison, with an additional year to be served on licence in relation to the explosives offence. He was sentenced to two years' imprisonment to be served concurrently in relation to the Terrorism Act offence.

Bishop will also be subject to terrorist offender notification requirements for 15 years after the conclusion of his five-year prison sentence.

When sentencing Bishop under an Explosive Substances Act 1883 offence, the judge ruled that Bishop committed the offence with a terrorist connection under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008.

London vehicle ramming plot – 2018

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Vehicle ramming

Target Type
Public area, Place of worship, Iconic location, Indoor venue

Date
April 2018

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Undetermined

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
10 April 2018

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
10 August 2018

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Rochester

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Lewis Ludlow (aged 26 at the time) planned an ISIS-linked vehicle ramming attack in Oxford Street, Madame Tussauds or St Paul’s Cathedral, between 11 March and 19 April 2018. He was a longstanding activist with al-Muhajiroun successor groups.

Eyadzhemar Abdusalam, a radicalised medic in the Philippines, was in communication with Ludlow and encouraged and directed him to plan the attack in the UK. Ludlow attempted to travel to the Philippines and transferred around £120 to Abdusalam. Ludlow also created Facebook and PayPal accounts that he used to fund ISIS fighters based in the Philippines.  

In August 2018, Ludlow, from Rochester, pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in preparation of a terrorist act and one count of arranging money for acts of terrorism.

In March 2019, Ludlow was jailed for life and must serve a minimum of 15 years in prison.

Cumbria vehicle ramming plot – 2018

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Vehicle ramming

Target Type
Public area

Date
March 2018

Region Targeted
Cumbria

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Undetermined

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
10 March 2018

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
24 January 2019

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
Yes

City of Plotter
Cumbria

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Shane Fletcher (aged 21 at the time) was planning a vehicle ramming attack at a local football match on Easter in his hometown of Workington, Cumbria.

Fletcher wanted to emulate the 1999 Columbine High School shooters in Colorado and was motivated by revenge against Jews and non-whites. The CPS described him as a white supremacist and a "vengeful loner".

The prosecution focused on evidence from Fletcher’s diary and Facebook messages to his friend, where he shared links to violent snuff movies and described the Columbine shooters as “legends”.

In January 2019, Fletcher was found guilty of two counts of possessing a document or record that contains information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, and one count of attempting or soliciting murder (contrary to Section 4 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1891).

In April 2019, Fletcher was jailed for nine years.

Remote-controlled vehicle bombing plot – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Bombing

Target Type
Undetermined

Date
December 2017

Region Targeted
Undetermined

Country Targeted
Undetermined

Weapons
Testing IEDs

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
19 December 2017

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
12 July 2019

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Sheffield

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Farhad Salah (aged 23 at the time) was found guilty in a retrial of planning an ISIS-inspired bombing attack using a remote-controlled vehicle. Upon arrest in December 2017, he was in the early stages of testing small IEDs. 

In July 2019, Salah was sentenced to 15 years in prison and will serve two thirds of his sentence before being eligible for parole. In response, the then Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East stated:

“Salah clearly had an extremist mind set and communication from him indicates that he saw his situation as critical. He claimed he was a terrorist, who would be judged by God. While our investigation did not establish the target of a potential attack, Salah posed a very real risk to the safety of our communities.”

Salah’s co-defendant, Andy Sami Star, was acquitted of all charges. 

Downing Street stabbing & suicide bomb plot – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Bombing, Suicide bombing, Stabbing

Target Type
Government building, Police-military-security, Politician, Iconic location

Date
November 2017

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Undetermined

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Arrest Date
28 November 2017

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
18 July 2018

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Finchley, London

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Naa’imur Rahman (aged 21 at the time) was planning an ISIS-inspired stabbing and bombing attack at Downing Street to kill then Prime Minister Theresa May. He planned to attack in three stages:

  1. Detonate a bomb inside a backpack near the security gates of Downing Street
  2. Stab guards and take a police officer hostage
  3. Enter 10 Downing Street and kill the PM using a knife or person-borne improvised explosive device hidden inside his jacket

In preparation, Rahman, from Finchley, north London, carried out hostile reconnaissance in person around Parliament. He also carried out hostile reconnaissance of Whitehall and Downing Street (online and in person), walking past the gates of Downing Street and checking the layout of his intended target. 

In September 2017, Rahman contacted an online user who was actually a FBI role player who introduced Rahman to online role-players from MI5 and Counter Terrorism Policing. He revealed his attack plans, sharing details about his preparations and undertaking reconnaissance.

Rahman also sought help from undercover counter-terrorism officers to procure a bomb and gave them his backpack and jacket to have an IED placed in the bag and the jacket converted into a suicide IED vest.

In July 2018, Rahman was found guilty of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts. He also pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct in assisting the preparation of terrorist acts. This charge related to a “sponsorship” video he filmed for one of his associates.

In August 2018, Rahman was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 30 years. He was also given six years in prison for the ISIS sponsorship video, but the sentences will run concurrently, not consecutively. Justice Haddon-Cave's sentencing remarks include useful insights on Rahman's attack planning and mindset.

As part of the investigation, Mohammad Aqib Imran, of south-east Birmingham, was charged with collection of information useful to terrorism in relation to a terrorist guidance book, following his arrest on 28 November 2017. In July 2018, Imran was found guilty of this offence.

Lancashire murder plot – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing, Fake suicide vest

Target Type
Politician, Police-military-security

Date
October 2017

Region Targeted
Lancashire

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Arrest Date
26 October 2017

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
1 May 2019

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
Yes

City of Plotter
Lancashire

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Former National Action member Jack Renshaw (aged 23 at the time) plotted to use a gladius machete to kill his local Labour MP Rosie Cooper and Detective Constable Victoria Henderson, and then die by "suicide by cop". 

Having researched online how to kill by severing a jugular artery, Renshaw, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, planned to take Cooper hostage at one of her social events and kill her by this method.

Then, wearing a fake suicide bomb vest, Renshaw would demand that DC Henderson come to the scene where he would kill her too. In turn, Renshaw wanted armed police to be called and shoot him.

Renshaw intended on recording a "martyrdom" video to explain his motives and had considered targeting a synagogue in the earlier stages of his attack planning.

In June 2018, Renshaw pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct in preparation of a terrorist act (contrary to Section 5 Terrorism Act 2006) and to making a threat to kill (contrary to Section 16 Offences Against the Person Act 1861). These related to his plot to murder Cooper and Henderson.

In May 2019, he was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years. Justice McGowan's sentencing remarks detail Renshaw's longstanding antisemitic mindset and obsession with an international Jewish conspiracy.

The judge noted that Renshaw intended to kill Cooper "because she was a member of the Labour Party and therefore responsible for mass immigration"; and because he "saw her as representing the Jewish controlled State oppressing the white community".

In earlier trials, Renshaw was also convicted of the following crimes:

  • In January 2018, Renshaw was convicted on two charges of stirring up racial hatred in antisemitic speeches he made in 2016. He was subsequently sentenced to a 3 year term of imprisonment.
  • In June 2018, Renshaw was sentenced to a 16-month term of imprisonment for four offences of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity between February 2016 and January 2017. He was also given a 10 year sexual harm prevention order.

For a detailed report on Renshaw's background in the British far-right, see CST's report White Jihad': Jack Renshaw’s journey from far right student to would-be terrorist.

Surrey teenager stabbing plot – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing

Target Type
Undetermined

Date
July 2017

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
11 July 2017

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
8 March 2019

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Redhill, Surrey

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Haider Ahmed (aged 17 at the time) was planning an attack in London using a 15-inch hunting knife. No specific target was detailed.

Ahmed, from Redhill, Surrey, was in possession of ISIS propaganda material, including a video showing how to carry out lone attacks, where to stab victims and advice on which knives to use. 

Ahmed was previously tried in October 2018. The jury failed to reach a verdict on one count of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006). Ahmed's retrial took place in February 2019 and was found guilty of this charge in March 2019. He was aged 19 at the time of his conviction.

Before the trial in October 2018, Ahmed had pleaded guilty to the following:

  • Four counts of dissemination of terrorist publication (contrary to Section 2(1) and 2(2) (A) TACT 2006)
  • One count of collecting or recording information for terrorist purposes (contrary to Section 58(1)(A) TACT 2000)
  • One count of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2006) in relation to helping "Carl Drogo" travel from Nigeria to Libya

 In June 2019, Ahmed was sentenced to five years in prison.

Cardiff vehicle ramming plot – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Vehicle ramming

Target Type
Indoor venue, Public area

Date
June 2017

Region Targeted
South Wales

Country Targeted
Wales

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Online

Arrest Date
30 June 2017

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
28 November 2017

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Cardiff

Country of Plotter
Wales

Summary

Lloyd Gunton (aged 17 at the time) planned an ISIS-inspired vehicle ramming attack into a crowd of people in Cardiff, most likely outside the venue of a Justin Bieber concert.

Gunton conducted online searches of the concert venue’s security, Cardiff’s Castle quarter, the Capitol shopping centre, the Central Library and the New Theatre. He also downloaded plans for a local shopping centre only minutes after having searched for “vehicle ramming attacks.”

According to the CPS, Gunton's internet history included the following searches:

  • "ISIS beheading video", 'Isis terrorist attacks'
  • "Police car UK armed response"
  • "how to create a terror attack"
  • "driving a lorry into a crowd of people"
  • "what does getting shot feel like"

Gunton also researched the 2013 murder of Lee Rigby, and his mobile phone contained images of the 2016 lorry ramming attacks in Nice and Berlin.

In November 2017, Gunton, from Mid Glamorgan, Wales, was found guilty of one charge of engaging in the preparation of a terrorist act, two charges of encouraging terrorism and two charges of possessing terrorist information.

In March 2018, he was given a life sentence and ordered to serve at least 11 years in prison.

Cumbria LGBTQ machete plot – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing

Target Type
Indoor venue, Targeted minorities

Date
June 2017

Region Targeted
Cumbria

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Arrest Date
23 June 2017

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
5 February 2018

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Cumbria

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Ethan Stables (aged 20 at the time) planned a machete and axe attack against people attending an LGBTQ pride night at the New Empire pub in his hometown of Barrow, Cumbria.

In preparation for the attack, Stables carried out hostile reconnaissance at the pub in person, collecting information and taking photographs.

A member of a far-right group on Facebook reported Stables to police after he posted a message saying that he was "going to war" and planned to "slaughter". Stables was arrested near the pub on the evening of the event on a final reconnaissance visit. He reportedly communicated a hatred for Jews and Muslims on his phone.

In February 2018, Stables was convicted guilty of preparing an act of terrorism, threats to kill and possessing explosives. In May 2018, he was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order.

Sheffield dental student plot – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Undetermined

Target Type
Undetermined

Date
June 2017

Region Targeted
Undetermined

Country Targeted
Undetermined

Weapons
Slingshot, 500 ball bearings

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
1 June 2017

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
13 December 2017

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Sheffield

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

In 2017, Mohammed Awan (then aged 24), a fourth-year dental student at Sheffield University, was convicted of planning a terrorist attack and was in possession of terrorist-related material.

Early police intervention meant that his full intentions, including possible targets and attack methods, are unknown.

Police seized 11 mobile phones, 16 USB memory sticks and seven computers in house searches in Huddersfield and Sheffield. The devices revealed that Awan had accessed numerous ISIS propaganda sites and violent jihadi material.

Specifically, the two charges of possessing terrorism material related to Awan accessing a document titled "How to Survive in the West" and a video titled "Command Hamzah Zinjibary's Military Camp". 

The terrorism manual advised would-be jihadi attackers to practice with "primitive weapons" before using firearms, and the bomb-making section described using ball bearings as shrapnel in an explosive device.

Awan also acquired a slingshot catapult and 500 ball bearings. Although he told authorities it was for hunting, the sentencing judge stated that this was a cover story and that Awan intended "something much more violent".

In May 2015, Mohammed Awan's brother, Rizwan, left the UK to join ISIS in Syria and remained in contact. In March 2016, Rizwan killed himself in a suicide bombing attack in Iraq.

In December 2017, Awan was found guilty of the following charges:

  • One count of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006)
  • Two counts of possession of a document or record containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism (contrary to Section 58(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2000)

Later that month, Awan was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to serve 3 years extended licence on release.

London Jewish community attack plot – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Shooting

Target Type
Public area, Targeted minorities, Royal, Politician

Date
May 2017

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Undetermined

Number of Plotters
2

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
23 May 2017

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
20 February 2018

Anti-Jewish Targeting
Yes

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
Yes

City of Plotter
Tottenham, London

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Aweys Shikhey (aged 38 at the time) and an ISIS supporter in Kenya discussed plans to commit a firearms attack in the UK, targeting the Jewish community in the Stamford Hill area in north London.

The pair aspired to obtain AK-47 assault rifles but lacked a concrete operational plan and did not procure any weapons. Other targets discussed included The Queen and former Prime Minister David Cameron. Shikhey also attempted to join ISIS.

In February 2018, Shikhey was found guilty of preparing for acts of terrorism (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). In April 2018, Shikhey was sentenced to eight years in prison with a further four years on extended licence.

Army of Children plot – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Shooting, Bombing, Vehicle ramming

Target Type
Government building, Transport, Indoor venue, Iconic location, Targeted minorities, Other

Date
May 2017

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Firearm, Bladed weapon

Number of Plotters
4

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
17 May 2017

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
2 March 2018

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
London

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Umar Ahmed Haque (aged 25 at the time), from Forest Gate, east London, was the leader of a small group involved in an ISIS-inspired plot to carry out multi-pronged terrorist attacks across London.

Haque aspired to target up to 30 urban locations in simultaneous or consecutive attacks. He wanted to use a combination of attack methods: firearms, knives, bombs and large vehicles to target civilians. The targets considered included the following:

  • Heathrow Airport
  • Queen's Guard
  • The courts
  • Transport for London
  • Shia Muslims
  • Westfield shopping centre (Stratford)
  • Banks in the City of London
  • Parliament
  • Big Ben
  • English Defence League or Britain First
  • Foreign embassies
  • Media stations

The Met's Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) and MI5 disrupted the plot in its early stages. The then commander of SO15 described Haque's plot as follows: His plans, though ambitious, were aspirational. They were long term attack plans." Haque first came to police attention in 2016 when he tried to fly to Turkey and had his passport revoked.

Media sources referred to the attack plan as the "Army of Children" plot because Haque tried to radicalise 55 children (aged 11 to 14) to assist in the attacks. After disrupting the plot, all the children received safeguarding support, with 35 requiring longer-term support.

Haque had taught at the Lantern of Knowledge, an Islamic private school in Leyton, and at the Essex Islamic Academy (Ripple Road Mosque), an after-school madrasa in Barking. Haque showed pupils at both schools violent ISIS propaganda videos.

At the Essex academy, Haque organised opposing groups of children, with one group roleplaying "martyrs" and the other roleplaying police officers. They then playacted the stabbing of PC Keith Palmer who was murdered in the 2017 Westminster Bridge and Palace of Westminster attack.

Haque was "obsessed" with the 2017 Westminster attack and then started forming his own attack plan. He also told jurors that a speech from then ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani led him to become an ISIS supporter and that an attack in the UK was justified.

In March 2018, Umar Haque was found guilty of the following:

  • Preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006) - for researching and planning terror attack in the UK.
  • Preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2006) - in relation to the role play exercises with children at the mosque.

Haque also pleaded guilty to the following:

  • Dissemination of terrorist publications (contrary to Section 2(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006) - in relation to videos shown to children at the mosque.
  • Four counts of collection of information (contrary to Section 58(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2000) - in relation to four separate publications likely to be useful to a person committing. or preparing an act of terrorism.

The jury was hung in respect to one count of dissemination of terrorist publications, and the judge ordered that this charge lie on file. 

The other defendants were convicted of the following:

  • Abuthaher Mamun was found guilty of preparation of acts of terrorism (contrary to Section 5(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006) - for assisting Umar Haque in planning a UK terror attack and trading in options to finance an attack.
  • Muhammad Abid was found guilty of failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism (contrary to Section 38B(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2000) - in relation to not reporting Umar Haque to the police.
  • Nadeem Patel pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited weapon (contrary to Section 5(1)(b) of the Firearms Act 1968) - for possessing a prohibited weapon, namely a Walther P99 handgun. He was found not guilty of one count of conspiracy to possess a firearm.

The defendants received the following sentences:

  • Umar Haque was jailed for life and must serve a minimum of 25 years.
  • Abuthaher Mamun was jailed for 13 years but is not automatically eligible for parole upon serving half his sentence (special custodial sentence for one count of preparation of terrorist acts).
  • Muhammad Abid was jailed for 4 years and 3 months.
  • Nadeem Patel was jailed for 16 months.

All-female ramming & stabbing plot – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Vehicle ramming, Stabbing

Target Type
Public area, Iconic location

Date
April 2017

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Plotters
4

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Arrest Date
27 April 2017

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
23 February 2018

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
London

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

The Boular-Dich plot is often considered the first all-female jihadist attack plot in the UK. The attack plans unfolded in stages. From 2016, Safaa Boular (aged 16 at the time), from Vauxhall, communicated online with a British ISIS fighter in Syria.

MI5 online role players later chatted with Safaa about her desire to obtain firearms and grenades to attack targets in central London, such as at the British Museum. She also discussed attacking with a vehicle and knife but never obtained any weapons.

Safaa was remanded in custody on 12 April 2017 but remained in contact with her sister Rizlaine (aged 20 at the time), from Clerkenwell, and her mother Mina Dich (aged 42 at the time), from Lambeth.  

During this time, Rizlaine took forward the attack plans with the knowledge and support of Mina and Rizlaine’s friend Khawla Barghouthi (aged 19 at the time), from Harlesden. Police recorded conversations with Safaa, Rizlaine and Mina discussing a "tea party" as a code for an attack planned for 27 April 2017.

On 25 April, Rizlaine and Mina drove around Westminster for hostile reconnaissance around iconic London landmarks. The next day, they bought three kitchen knives and a rucksack . On 27 April, police heard Rizlaine discussing her knife attack plans with Khawla. The pair, along with Mina, were arrested that evening.

This case was also summarised in Court of Appeals Criminal Division report on cases in 218-2019. The defendants' convictions and sentences were as follows:

  • In August 2018, Safaa Boular was sentenced two terms of life imprisonment for two counts of preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). She must serve a minimum of 13 years in prison.
  • In June 2018, Rizlaine Boular and Mina Dich were sentenced, both previously pleading guilty to preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). Rizlaine was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of 16 years. Mina was also sentenced to an extended sentence of 11 years and nine months: six years and nine months in prison and an additional five years on licence.
  • In June 2018, Khawla Barghouthi was sentenced to 28 months in prison. She previously pleaded guilty to having information about acts of terrorism (contrary to Section 38 of Terrorism Act 2000).

Westminster-Whitehall stabbing plot – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing

Target Type
Politician, Iconic location, Police-military-security

Date
April 2017

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Arrest Date
27 April 2017

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
26 June 2018

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
London

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

In 2017, Khalid Mohammed Omar Ali (aged 28 at the time) planned a stabbing attack on police officers, MPs or military in London.

Ali, from Tottenham, was under surveillance as part of a police and security services investigation. He was arrested on 27 April in Whitehall while armed with three knives.

Ali's pre-attack preparations included seeking information about the vulnerabilities of police protective vests and the capability of police tasers. He also conducted hostile reconnaissance in person on a few occasions at the Houses of Parliament, New Scotland Yard, Downing Street and the headquarters of MI6.

On 27 April, the day of his intended attack, Ali disposed his phone in the River Thames at Victoria Embankment. The recovered device showed Google Streetview searches of the MI6 building on the day he visited the perimeter.

In June 2018, Ali was found guilty of preparation of a terrorist act (contrary to Section 5(1)(a) of the Terrorism Act 2006).

Ali was also found guilty of two counts of making an explosive substance (contrary to Section 3(1)(b) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883) in relation to his fingerprints found on bomb components in Afghanistan. From 2011 to 2016, Ali travelled to Afghanistan and spent several years at a Taliban training camp affiliated to al-Qaeda where he helped make hundreds of bombs.

In July 2018, Ali was sentenced to life with a minimum of 40 years.

Birmingham stabbing plot – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing

Target Type
Place of worship, Targeted minorities, Police-military-security

Date
March 2017

Region Targeted
West Midlands, Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Plotters
3

Hostile Reconnaissance
Online

Arrest Date
29 March 2017

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
9 October 2017

Anti-Jewish Targeting
Yes

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
Yes

City of Plotter
BirminghamLondon

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Ummarayiat (Ummar) Mirza (aged 21 at the time) and his wife Madihah Taheer (aged 21 at the time) planned an ISIS-inspired knife attack in their home city of Birmingham.

Although their final target or targets are unknown, they performed online hostile reconnaissance of numerous possible targets. This included searching Wikipedia lists of Jewish communities in Britain, Jewish areas in London and Birmingham, as well as military locations in Birmingham.

In preparation for an attack, Ummar researched terror acts and bought a steel hunting knife and a rubber training knife, which he used to practise on a training dummy.

According to the judge's sentencing remarks, Mirza was inspired to research Jewish targets after receiving Telegram messages in February 2017 from the Lone Mujahid account that encouraged attacks against British Jewish locations.

Ummar subsequently searched online for “Jewish area of London”, “Jewish communities in the UK” and “Birmingham central synagogue”. He also searched online about one of Lee Rigby's killers and 2017 Westminster attacker Khalid Masood, as well as searching for “barracks in Birmingham” and “territorial army in Birmingham”.

In 2017, the defendants were convicted of the following:

  • Ummarayiat Mirza pleaded guilty to preparing terrorist acts between 9 January and 30 March 2017. Two counts of possessing a record of information likely to be useful to a person committing a terrorist act were ordered to lie on file.
  • Madihah Taheer was found guilty of preparing an act of terrorism by assisting her husband in Birmingham between 12 February and 30 March 2017.
  • Zainub Mirza, Umar's sister, pleaded guilty to disseminating terrorist publications between 10 January and 23 January 2017 in relation to sending terrorist propaganda videos to her brother.

In December 2017, they received the following sentences:

  • Ummariyat Mirza was jailed for 16 years (custodial term plus extended licence period - 21 years).
  • Madihah Taheer was jailed for 10 years (custodial term plus extended licence period - 11 years).
  • Zainub Mirza was jailed for 2 years and 6 months.

Derby-Willesden couple bombing plot – 2016

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Bombing

Target Type
Undetermined

Date
October 2016

Region Targeted
Undetermined

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Explosive ingredients

Number of Plotters
2

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
1 October 2016

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
8 January 2018

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Derby, London

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Munir Mohammed (aged 36 at the time), from Derby, and Rowaida El-Hassan (aged 32 at the time), from Willesden, planned to perpetrate ISIS-inspired bombings. Their exact target selections were unclear.

Counter Terrorism Police and East Midlands Special Operations Unit–Special Branch found bomb-making manuals and instructions for making the poison ricin and mobile phone detonators at Munir's home.

Munir bought chemicals for a homemade pressure cooker IED. Police found a 200ml bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide and 500ml of Hydrochloric Acid, two of the components needed to make TATP (triacetone triperoxide) explosive.

The prosecution argued that the pair’s WhatsApp exchanges showed their support of ISIS goals, and that Munir aspired to commit a “lone actor” attack.

In January 2018, both were found guilty of intending to commit an act of terrorism or helping someone else to commit an act of terrorism (contrary Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006).

Munir Mohammed was given a life sentence and must serve a minimum of 21 years. Rowaida El-Hussain was jailed for 12 years.

Elton John concert terror plot – 2016

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Bombing, Suicide Bombing, Shooting

Target Type
Indoor venue, Iconic location, Public area

Date
September 2016

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Undetermined

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Online

Arrest Date
8 September 2016

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
3 July 2017

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Hounslow, London

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Haroon Ali Syed (aged 19 at the time) planned an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack in London.

Syed, from Hounslow, considered several different attack methods and contemplated targeting an Elton John concert in Hyde Park or London's Oxford Street. He conducted online research on military-security targets and Buckingham Palace. 

In April 2016, Syed began communicating online with an undercover security services officer and asked for help sourcing weapons. He admitted trying to procure a machine gun, handguns, suicide vest and bomb.

Syed eventually decided to obtain an explosive device. He asked that it be packed with nails and said he wanted to remote-detonate the device in a crowded place. Ultimately, his plot was poorly planned and aspirational.

In April 2017, Syed pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006) between 12 April and 9 September 2016.

In July 2017, Syed was given a life sentence with a minimum of 16 years and six months, minus 297 days already served. He will have to remain in custody for at least another 15 years, 251 days and will remain on licence for life.

"Three Musketeers" terror plot – 2016

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Undetermined

Target Type
Undetermined

Date
August 2016

Region Targeted
Undetermined

Country Targeted
Undetermined

Weapons
IED, Bladed weapon, Firearm

Number of Plotters
4

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
26 August 2016

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
2 August 2017

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Sparkhill, Birmingham, Stoke on Trent

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

The plotters were convicted for preparing an al-Qaeda and ISIS-inspired terrorist attack between May and August 2016. Their target selection is unknown.

Naweed Ali and Khobaib Hussain are from Sparkhill, Birmingham, and Mohibur Rahman and Tahir Aziz are are from Stoke on Trent. The four men shared extremist beliefs, ideologies, images, messages and material.

They set up a group on the social media platform Telegram called the “Three Musketeers”. An undercover police operation foiled their attack plans.

In Aziz's car, police found a samurai-style sword; they recovered the following from Ali's:

  • A pipe bomb that was partially constructed and inside a JD Sports bag. It was full of gunpowder and fashioned from a tube closed at both ends with brass-coloured metal caps
  • A meat cleaver with the word "KAFIR" scratched on it
  • An imitation handgun, 9mm bullet, shotgun cartridges, latex gloves and gaffer tape

All four defendants were found guilty of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5(1)(a) of the Terrorism Act 2006). Justice Globe's sentencing remarks offer details on the defendants activities and crimes.

In August 2017, Naweed Ali, Khobaib Hussain and Mohibur Rahman all received life sentenced with a minimum of 20 years. Tahir Aziz was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years. Note that the 329 days each defendant already served in custody will count towards the minimum sentence.

West Midlands railway bombing plot – 2015

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Bombing

Target Type
Transport

Date
August 2015

Region Targeted
West Midlands

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
IED

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Arrest Date
9 August 2015

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
25 April 2017

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Alum Rock, Birmingham

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Zahid Hussain (aged 29 at the time) planned a series of ISIS-inspired bombings between November 2014 and August 2015.

Hussain, from Alum Rock, Birmingham, used his bedroom as a makeshift laboratory and a base of operations for researching attack methods. He devised a pressure cooker IED containing what he believed was 3.8kgs of secondary high explosive ANFO (ammonium nitrate/fuel oil) and shrapnel (1.6kgs of nails, screws, bolts and other metal objects).

Hussain also made four viable improvised explosive igniters (each consisting of a fairy light, chlorate-based match-head composition, sugar and wax). Each of these could detonate a primary high explosive. He also acquired viable recipes of several explosives such as HMTD (hexamethylene triperoxide diamine) and a plastic explosive.

Hussain performed hostile reconnaissance near the West Coast Mainline railway from Birmingham to London, but he had not formed a specific plan of when and how he would attack by the time he was arrested.

In May 2017, Hussain was found guilty of engaging in conduct in preparation to commit acts of terrorism (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006).

In October 2017, he was sentenced to life with a minimum of 15 years in prison.

Justice Sweeney's sentencing remarks include specific details about Hussain's devices and activities. 

US military base ramming plot – 2015

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Vehicle ramming, Stabbing

Target Type
Police-military-security

Date
July 2015

Region Targeted
Suffolk, Norfolk

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Arrest Date
14 July 2015

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
1 April 2016

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Luton

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Junead Ahmed Khan (aged 25 at the time), a delivery driver from Luton, planned an ISIS-inspired ramming and stabbing attack outside a US Air Force base in East Anglia. The bases were reportedly in Suffolk (RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath) or Norfolk (RAF Feltwell).

As part of his delivery route, Khan intended to crash a vehicle outside a military base and stab or behead US military personnel who came to assist him.

Khan admired and wanted to emulate British ISIS executioner Jihadi John (Mohammed Emwazi), as well as Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale who murdered Lee Rigby in 2013.

On 14 July 2015, Khan and his younger uncle Shazib Khan were arrested. In sentencing, the judge said that both were radicalised by al-Muhajiroun, including a family member named Rajib Khan who was a significant member of its Luton branch. Junead and Shazib had also been planning to travel to Syria since 2014.

Junead Khan had suffered from schizophrenia, but his illness was stable and was not an explanation for his terror plans.

In April 2016, the defendants were convicted as follows:

  • Junead Khan and Shazib Khan were convicted of acts in preparation for terrorism (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006) in relation to their plans to join ISIS in Syria.
  • Junead Khan also faced charges of acts in preparation for terrorism (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006) in relation to his plan to attack military personnel, between 1 August 2014 and 15 July 2015. He was found guilty.

For the terror attack-planning offence, Junead Khan was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 12 years. For the offence of preparing to join ISIS in Syria, he received a sentence of 7 years in prison to run concurrently. 

Shazib Khan was sentenced to 7 years in prison with an extended licence period of 5 years for the offence of preparing to join ISIS in Syria. 

Reading couple bombing plot – 2015

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Bombing, Suicide bombing

Target Type
Transport, Indoor venue

Date
May 2015

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
IED

Number of Plotters
2

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
28 May 2015

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
29 December 2015

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Reading

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Mohammed Rehman (aged 25 at the time) and Sana Khan (aged 24 at the time), a married couple from Reading, planned an ISIS-inspired bombing attack against targets in London, most likely the London Underground or Westfield shopping centre.

The pair were fixated with Shehzad Tanweer, one of the 7 July 2005 suicide bombers, and planned their attack around the tenth anniversary of the attacks. However, they had not selected a specific date or location to attack at the time of their arrest in May 2015.

Rehman was active on Twitter under the account name “Silent Bomber" and solicited targeting advice in a tweet: "Westfield shopping centre or London Underground? Any advice would be great appreciated."

Rehman also downloaded the first issue of al-Qaeda's Inspire magazine, which contained the article "How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom", as well as instructional videos on making explosives.

According to the CPS, the couple “embarked on a plan to purchase a considerable amount of chemicals with a view to making a series of explosives which could either be remotely detonated or used for a terrorist attack".

Starting in November 2014, Khan financed many of Rehman's purchases of chemicals and equipment. Rehman tested explosives and tweeted about them. In sentencing, the judge described both Rehman and Khan as "committed to the ideology of Islamic State".

The couple were found guilty of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006). Rehman was also found guilty of possession of an article for terrorist purposes (contrary to Section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000).

In December 2015, Rehman was sentenced to life with a minimum of 27 years; he was also sentenced to 12 years to run concurrently for possessing an article for terrorist purposes. Sana Khan was sentenced to life and must serve a minimum of 25 years.

Additional note

  • The facts of Sana Ahmed's attack planning were also referred to in R v Kahar [2016] EWCA Crim 568. This case sets out guidance for judges required to pass sentence in cases involving offences under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.
  • In February 2016, a routine search of Rehman's prison cell revealed a document about HMTD explosive. In February 2017, he pleaded guilty to possession of a record of information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing to commit an act of terrorism (contrary to Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000). He was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

Anzac Day plot – 2015

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing, Vehicle ramming, Shooting

Target Type
Public area, Police-military-security

Date
April 2015

Region Targeted
Outside UK

Country Targeted
Australia

Weapons
Undetermined

Number of Plotters
2

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
2 April 2015

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
23 July 2015

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Audley, Blackburn

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

An unnamed teenager (aged 14 at the time), known as Boy X or RXG, encouraged Sevdet Besim (then aged 18) in Australia to commit an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack at the 2015 ANZAC Day Parade in Melbourne.

RXG and Besim discussed three attack methods: a stabbing attack on police, targeting an officer with a car and a firearms attack. One scenario was for Besim to kill a police officer during the commemorations and then use an officer’s weapon to commit further acts of violence.

RXG and Besim plotted online, and RXG worked from a computer in a bedroom of his parents' home in Audley, Blackburn. The pair's contact was initiated by another Australian ISIS recruiter known as Abu Khaled al-Cambodi.

In 2015, RXG pleaded guilty to inciting terrorism overseas (contrary to Section 59 of the Terrorism Act 2000) and was sentenced to life with a minimum of 6 years in a youth detention centre. In 2019, RXG was granted lifelong anonymity, and the Parole Board ruled in January 2020 that he was suitable for release.

In September 2016, Besim was sentenced in Australia to 10 years in prison for preparing or planning a terrorist act. According to Australia's prosecution service, Besim was also motivated by then ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani's speech "Indeed, Your Lord is Every Watchful" (September 2014). Adnani called for attacks against disbelievers in the West, especially targeting police, security and intelligence officers.

The day after Adnani's speech was released, Besim's friend, Numan Haider, was shot dead after attacking two police officers at the Endeavour Hills police station in Victoria on 23 September 2014.

Police investigations showed that Besim was with Haider in the hours before the attack. Besim pledged allegiance to the then leader of ISIS in early 2015.

London Armistice Day beheading plot – 2014

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing, Vehicle ramming

Target Type
Police-military-security, Public area

Date
November 2014

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
6 November 2014

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
9 December 2015

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Hounslow, London

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Nadir Ali Syed (aged 22 at the time) planned an ISIS-inspired beheading attack, most likely targeting a solider, Police Community Support Officer or poppy seller in a public area. He intended to attack at a time close to Armistice Day (Remembrance Sunday) in November 2014.

Syed (or Sayed), from Hounslow, was obsessed with beheadings and was inspired by then ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani's speech "Indeed, Your Lord is Every Watchful" (September 2014). Adnani called for attacks against disbelievers in the West, especially targeting police, security and intelligence officers.

Syed purchased a large, high-quality knife with the intention of decapitating his victims, but he did not undertake detailed attack planning. In sentencing, the judge stated that Syed's "inability to go to Syria to fight was a factor in his decision to carry out an attack in this country".

Syed was arrested with his cousin Yousaf Syed (aged 20 at the time) and Haseeb Hamayoon (aged 29 at the time). However, Yousaf was found not guilty of preparing a terrorist act after a retrial, while the judge cleared Hamayoon after the jury failed to reach a verdict.

According to BBC's Dominic Casciani, the case was the first "to come before the courts of an alleged attack plan in the UK linked to Syria in which none of the defendants had actually travelled there".

In December 2015, Syed was convicted of preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006), between 20 September and 7 November 2014.

In June 2016, Syed was sentenced to life with a minimum of 15 years.

Aberdeen mosque bombing plot – 2014

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Bombing

Target Type
Place of worship, Targeted minorities

Date
November 2014

Region Targeted
Aberdeen

Country Targeted
Scotland

Weapons
IED

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Online

Arrest Date
1 November 2014

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
14 March 2018

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
Yes

City of Plotter
Banff

Country of Plotter
Scotland

Summary

Connor Ward (aged 25 at the time) planned to carry out a bombing attack against a mosque or mosques in Aberdeen. He planned his attacks between November 2013 and November 2014.

Ward, from Banff, Scotland, acquired components for potential IEDs, including ball bearings, and undertook extensive research and planning. He also kept a list of mosque addresses in Aberdeen. At his home, police also found a self-authored book manuscript titled “Combat 18 British Mosque Address Book”.  

In sentencing, the judge said of Ward that "you are deeply committed to neo-Nazi ideology and were prepared to advance the aims of a terrorist organisation, such as Combat 18". Ward also told the court that he is “definitely anti-Jewish”. 

In April 2018, Ward was given a discretionary life sentence with a minimum of six years after being found guilty on two charges of breaching the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Terrorism Act 2006.

Ward is a former psychiatric patient who suffers from personality disorders. He also has previous convictions for acts of violence and violations under the Explosive Substances Act 1883. In 2012, in an unrelated case, Ward was imprisoned for three years for intending to kill his father.

London moped-enabled shooting plot – 2014

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Shooting

Target Type
Police-military-security, Public area

Date
September 2014

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Firearm

Number of Plotters
4

Hostile Reconnaissance
Online

Arrest Date
25 September 2014

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
1 March 2016

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
London

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Tarik Hassane (aged 22 at the time) and Suhaib Majeed (aged 22 at the time) planned to kill British police officers, soldiers or civilians in an ISIS-inspired, moped-enabled shooting in London. They planned either a single attack or multiple attacks.

Hassane, from north Kensington, and Majeed, from St John's Wood, procured a pistol, silencer and ammunition from criminal contacts. Hassane also used personal electronic devices to research the Shepherd's Bush Police Station and the Parachute Regiment Territorial Army Centre in White City on Google Maps.

The pair were obsessed with the 2013 jihadist murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich. They were also inspired by then ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani's speech titled "Indeed, Your Lord is Every Watchful" (September 2014). Adnani called for attacks against disbelievers in the West, especially police, security and intelligence officers.

In 2016, the defendants were convicted of the following:

  • Hassane and Majeed were convicted of conspiracy to murder and preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). Hassane had pleaded guilty halfway through the trial, while Majeed was found guilty.
  • Majeed, Hamlett and Cuffy pleaded guilty before or during the trial to a number of charges of possessing or supplying the firearm and ammunition that was to be used in the plot. Cuffy also pleaded guilty to possessing other firearms that were recovered from an address linked to him.
  • Hamlett and Cuffy were found not guilty of conspiring to commit a terrorist murder.

In April 2016, the defendants received the following sentences:

  • Hassane was sentenced to life with a minimum of 21 years.
  • Majeed was sentenced to life with a minimum of 20 years.
  • Hamlett and Cuffy received terms of imprisonment totalling 6 years and six months and 11 years, respectively.

Judge Wilkie's sentencing remarks include additional insights on their mindsets and actions.

In September 2013, Tarik Hassane started studying at University of Medical Sciences and Technology (UMST) in Sudan, along with other British students. From 2015, some 22 British UMST students (citizens or residents in the UK) travelled to Syria to join ISIS.

Hassane also admitted visiting Syria in 2013, learning how to handle firearms and spending time with a fighter who was killed.

British soldier beheading plot – 2014

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing

Target Type
Police-military-security

Date
August 2014

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Knife, Hammer

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Online

Arrest Date
19 August 2014

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
19 February 2015

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
Yes

City of Plotter
Camberwell, London

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Brusthom (Brustholm) Ziamani (aged 19 at the time) was arrested as he was preparing to behead a British soldier. He supported ISIS and wanted to imitate the 2013 jihadist murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

Ziamani, from Camberwell, south London, used his mobile phone to visit the websites of military locations in south London.

While on remand, Ziamani told a prison guard that, "I was on my way to kill a British Soldier at an army barracks. I was going to behead the soldier and hold his head in the air so my friend could take a photograph”.

Prior to arrest, Ziamani was living in London with activists linked to al-Muhajiroun successors and used his Facebook account to encourage friends to fight jihad.

Ziamani told police that he knew Michael Adebolajo, one of Rigby's killers, and claimed they distributed leaflets together in Greenwich in 2013.

The judge's sentencing remarks noted that Ziamani’s texts and Facebook postings showed that he had a hatred for figures of authority, as well as hating “Shia Muslims, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, Christians, Jews and, indeed, anyone who does not embrace his own perverted interpretation of Islam”. 

In February 2015, Ziamani was found guilty of preparing an act of terrorism (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006).

In March 2015, he was sentenced to an extended sentence of 27 years' imprisonment, which comprised of 22 years custody and a licence extension of 5 years. This was reduced on appeal to 24 years: 19 years custodial term and an extension of 5 years. 

Additional notes

  • The facts of Ziamani's attack planning were also referred to in R v Kahar [2016] EWCA Crim 568. This case sets out guidance for judges required to pass sentence in cases involving offences under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.
  • In January 2020, Ziamani and Baz Macaulay Hockton perpetrated a stabbing attack against a prison guard and staff in HMP Whitemoor. In October 2020, they received life sentences for attempted murder, and the judge ruled that the attacks had a terrorist connection under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008. For full details, see CST's UK Terror Attacks Database.

Terror grooming plot – 2014

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing, Bombing

Target Type
Police-military-security

Date
August 2014

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Undetermined

Number of Plotters
2

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
13 August 2014

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
29 April 2015

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Manor Park, London

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

Kazi Islam (aged 17 at the time) groomed and encouraged a vulnerable individual with Asperger's Syndrome and ADHD to attack British soldiers. The offence took place between October 2013 and July 2014.

Islam, from Manor Park, east London, praised the 2013 jihadist murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich and was inspired to encourage a similar attack against soldiers.

He accessed a document on how to make semtex, researched IEDs and encouraged his unwitting acquittance to buy components for a device and instructed him to kill a solider.

In April 2015, Islam was found guilty of preparing an act of terrorism (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). In May 2015, he was sentenced to to eight years in a young offenders' institution.

Cyanide plot – 2014

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Chemical poison

Target Type
Royal, Other

Date
June 2014

Region Targeted
Undetermined

Country Targeted
Undetermined

Weapons
Chemicals, Cyanide

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Arrest Date
3 June 2014

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
22 September 2015

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Undetermined

Country of Plotter
Undetermined

Summary

In September 2014, Mark Colborne was convicted in a retrial of preparing terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). He was in the process of processing chemicals into cyanide and used manuals to study making explosive devices.

Colborne's brother alerted police to a large quantity of chemical's in his bedroom, and police also found a book that contained recipes to make lethal poisons. 

Colborne, who expressed admiration for Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Breivik, had written in his notebook about assassinating Prince Charles so that Prince Harry would be king:

"I don't want to be a serial killer. I'm more of an Anders Breivik. I have left potential targets open...Let it be Prince Charles which would be good...take up a good position and put a bullet in Charles's head".

In December 2015, Colborne was sentenced to a Hospital Order under the Mental Health Act.

Merseyside mosques bombing plot – 2013

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Bombing

Target Type
Place of worship, Targeted minorities

Date
June 2013

Region Targeted
Merseyside

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
IED

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Online

Arrest Date
6 June 2013

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
25 March 2014

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Oxton, Birkenhead

Country of Plotter
England

Summary

In 2013, Ian Forman (aged 42 at the time) planned to bomb mosques in Merseyside. At his home, police found a homemade IED and chemicals, video clips showing him experimenting with explosives and an anti-Islam video he created.

Forman saved images of Penny Lane Mosque in Liverpool and Wirral Islamic Centre in Birkenhead, labelling them as "target one" and "target two". His IED had a sufficient quantity of potassium nitrate, sulphur and charcoal to make 1.2 kg of Black Powder when mixed together in the correct amounts.

Police also found a replica Nazi uniform, and Forman admitted having extreme right-wing views in his youth but claimed he no longer harboured such sentiments.

However, Greater Manchester Police described Forman as a Nazi sympathiser, and the sentencing judge stated that Forman had acted in a "racist, abusive and extremely offensive manner...in your perverted way believed that your activities were a continuation of Nazi warfare".

In March 2014, Forman, from Oxton, Birkenhead, was found guilty of preparing for acts of terrorism (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). In May 2014, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Prince Harry assassination plot – 2013

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Undetermined

Target Type
Royal

Date
April 2013

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Undetermined

Number of Plotters
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Online

Arrest Date
23 April 2013

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Conviction Date
25 April 2013

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Anti-Jewish Sentiment
No

City of Plotter
Bangor

Country of Plotter
Northern Ireland

Summary

Ashraf Islam (aged 30 at the time) voluntarily surrendered to police in Hounslow the day after Lee Rigby's murder. He confessed to having advanced plans to murder Prince Harry who he claimed “had blood on his hands” for tours of duty in Afghanistan.

Islam spent ten days in Thailand building up his fitness, conducting online research and refining plans before flying to London. Police found several searches on his laptop about Prince Harry’s protection team, where he lived and royal engagements. He also recorded a video making threats to kill the Prince.

In February 2014, Islam was sentenced to 3 years after pleading guilty to making a threat to kill (contrary to Section 16 offences against the Person Act 186). 

The judge said that Islam clearly suffered from a personality disorder, and that he did not have a professional plan to carry out his intentions.

Islam, a Muslim convert from Bangor in Northern Ireland, had a previous conviction for fraud and was jailed for nine years in 2000 for attempted robbery. He was formerly known as Mark Townley.