UK Terror Attacks

CST's Terrorism Databases offer unique insights into UK terror attacks and plots, from 2013-present. They summarise and classify terror incidents, allowing users to filter through and search for different trends and patterns. Regularly updated, the databases 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 attacks. 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 terrorism trends.

Last Updated: July 2022

Showing 1–26 of 26 results

Explosion outside Liverpool Women's Hospital – 2021

Incident Summary

Ideology
Undetermined

Modus Operandi
Bombing

Target Type
Undetermined

Date
14 November 2021

Region Targeted
Merseyside

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
IED

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
1

Injuries
1

Perpetrator Status
Killed

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 1-5 miles

Transport Used
Vehicle

Summary

On 14 November 2021, a taxi exploded outside Liverpool Women's Hospital at 10:59am. Counter Terrorism Policing North West (CTPNW) declared it a terrorist incident the next day.

Shortly before 11am, a local taxi driver picked up a single passenger, 32-year-old Emad Jamil Salman Al Swealmeen, from an address on Rutland Avenue in the Sefton Park area of Liverpool.

The only words Al Swealmeen spoke in the taxi were "women's hospital", and he was then driven to the location, a ten minute journey of about 1.5 miles.

An explosion occurred inside the vehicle as the taxi approached the hospital’s drop-off point. The explosion from the improvised explosive device (IED) propelled ball bearings forward into the taxi, forcing out the front windscreen and sending it 52ft (16m), where it hit a tree.

Al Swealmeen was killed by the explosion and ensuing fire. The taxi driver, who escaped from the vehicle, sustained injuries but was later released from hospital.

Attacker's motive

Police have not yet disclosed Al Swealmeen’s motive for the attack or why he requested to be driven to the hospital. 

Senior police have determined that no evidence so far suggests that anyone else was involved in the purchase or procurement of materials or construction of the explosive device.

All four men arrested under the Terrorism Act on 14 and 15 November in relation to the explosion were released following police interviews. 

The chief officer of CTPNW cautioned against premature speculation connecting the timing of the attack to Remembrance Sunday events in Liverpool, but confirmed it was part of their inquiry.

On 30 December 2021, senior corner André Rebello, who conducted an inquest into the death of Al Swealmeen, concluded that the attacker acted with "murderous intent":

"On the 14th November 2021 shortly before 11.00 am Emad Jamil Salman Al Swealmeen died in a Taxi in front of the Liverpool Women's Hospital. He died from an explosion and subsequent fire caused by an improvised explosive device which he had carried into the taxi. It is found that he manufactured this improvised explosive device designed to project shrapnel with murderous intent…It remains unclear as to whether he intended the device to detonate when it did. He was the sole fatal victim of his endeavours; however, the lives of innocent victims have been affected adversely by his heinous acts."

The inquest was also told that Al Swealmeen called his brother, who lives in the United States, 48 hours before the explosion and asked “something like 'if I do something bad that will affect the family what do you think?'” His brother reportedly advised him to do nothing.

The coroner also told the court as follows:

"One thing that struck me was that this lone actor from a disrupted family, with a bit of a chaotic background, could well have killed many, many innocent people and there doesn't appear to have been any opportunity to have detected this was about to happen...It is something that has been planned over many, many months...Clearly, from what he said to the family, he had something in mind and yet this was hidden from everybody".

Attacker's IED

The explosion was caused by the ignition of an IED that Al Swealmeen had built himself. It was constructed from homemade explosive and had 2,000 ball bearings attached to it that would have acted as shrapnel.

Police assess the IED could have caused “significant injury or death” had it detonated in different circumstances; however, they have not yet confirmed how or why it exploded in the taxi, and whether it was intentional or not.

The inquest was told that items discovered in one of Al Swealmeen’s properties were likely to have been self-manufactured and intended to be components of improvised firearms and homemade explosives.

Financial records also indicate that he purchased materials likely to be used in the manufacture of these weapons between March 2020 and November 2021.

The coroner also concluded that he rented the premises on Rutland Avenue for the purpose of using it to manufacture the explosive device. Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Meeks, the senior investigating officer in the case, told the inquest that it was accurate to describe Rutland Avenue flat as a "bomb-making factory".

Attacker's background

Al Swealmeen, who was born in Iraq, entered the UK legally in May 2014 using a Jordanian passport and UK visa. The coroner said that, “Shortly after his arrival he claimed, it is believed falsely, that he was of Syrian heritage and claimed asylum as a refugee from that country”.

Since April 2021, Al Swealmeen rented a property on Rutland Avenue. Prior to this, he lived in premises, provided by the Home Office, on Sutcliffe Street, in the Kensington area of Liverpool. Armed police raided the properties after the explosion.

CTPNW confirmed that Al Swealmeen had episodes of mental illness. According to evidence heard at the inquest, he had been imprisoned in the Middle East for a serious assault on another person, as well as being in trouble in Liverpool for possession of an offensive weapon.

According to media reports, he was refused asylum in 2014 and 2015 and had an unresolved appeal at the time of the 14 November incident.

Al Swealmeen, who changed his name legally to Enzo Almeni, reportedly converted to Christianity in Liverpool. He was baptised in 2015 and confirmed in 2017.

Early media reports, however, suggested that he reverted back to Islam in 2021. The senior coroner also concluded that:

“When premises were searched both a Holy Quran and prayer mat were present and it was fairly evident that he carried out the religious duties of someone who is a follower of Islam, notwithstanding the reported conversion to Christianity”.

UK threat level increased

On 15 November, the day following the explosion, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) increased the UK's terrorism threat level to SEVERE, meaning an attack is "highly likely". The Home Office explained that the increase was driven by the explosion outside Liverpool Women's Hospital and the fatal stabbing of Sir David Amess MP in October 2021.

Sir David Amess MP murder – 2021

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing

Target Type
Politician, Indoor venue

Date
15 October 2021

Region Targeted
Essex

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person, Online

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
1

Injuries
0

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 40-60 miles

Transport Used
Public transport

Summary

On 15 October 2021, Sir David Amess, the Conservative MP for Southend West, was fatally stabbed during a constituency meeting at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. 

On 11 April 2022, Ali Harbi Ali, a British national of Somali origin, was found guilty of murder and of preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 Terrorism Act 2006). On 13 April, Ali was sentenced to imprisonment with a whole life order. 

Ali, from Kentish Town, north London, decided to target MPs who voted in favour of airstrikes in Syria in 2015. He started considering attacking in the UK in response to Islamic State (ISIS) speeches inciting lone jihadist attacks in their home countries. 

Attack

On 15 October, Ali (aged 25 at the time) travelled by train from Kentish Town to Leigh-on-Sea armed with a large knife. He reportedly appeared relaxed and chatty when he arrived for his appointment.

Ali briefly discussed foreign affairs with Amess before stabbing him 21 times.

Just before the attack, Ali sent a pre-written note to family and friends explaining why he was perpetrating the attack. A separate note discovered on his phone, which was written in May 2019, outlined his plans for another attack.

After the killing, Ali called out, "I want him dead. I want every Parliament Minister [sic] who signed up for the bombing of Syria who agreed to the Iraqi war to die”. He also said, “I’ve done it because of Syria. I’ve done it because of the innocent people. I’ve done it because of the bombing. He deserved to die.”

When two plain clothes police officers confronted Ali, he refused to drop the knife and demanded to be shot, saying, “I want to die; I want to be a hero.” 

Ali later told police that he was guided by ISIS videos in learning how to carry out a stabbing attack. In his sentencing remarks, the judge concluded that Ali was "aiming (in accordance with Islamic State training videos that he had viewed) for the main blood vessels in the body."

Hostile reconnaissance

In preparation for the attack, Ali performed in person and online hostile reconnaissance of potential targets from May 2019.

In 2021, Ali visited outside MP Michael Gove’s home address eight times; outside of the Houses of Parliament eight times; and outside MP Mike Freer’s constituency office in Finchley, north London, once. 

Testifying in court, Ali described "plans I had to attack and hopefully kill Michael Gove at the time". 

Ali also engaged in other reconnaissance excursions, sometimes carrying the knife later used in the attack. 

Deception & Social engineering

Ali settled on targeting Amess after finding information on Twitter about his constituency surgery.

In late September 2021, a few weeks before the attack, Ali exchanged emails with Sir David's office and lied that he was moving to the local area and thus wanted to meet his local MP. Ali also used a false address to deceive Sir David's staff.

In his email, Ali claimed he worked in healthcare and wanted to know Sir David's plan for the hospital and its workers. 

Online research

Ali undertook extensive online research in forming his attack plans and target selections. In addition to researching Gove, Freer and other MPs, Ali also searched terms such as “David Amess Israel” and “David Amess Muslim”.

Ali accessed a page regarding Sir David chairing a Parliamentary debate about the “Jewish Community Contribution to the UK” and another where the MP spoke at a Holocaust Memorial debate. During his trial, he also said that Sir David's membership with Conservative Friends of Israel was a "big problem" for him.

In sentencing Ali, Judge Sweeney noted that Ali studied terrorist attacks abroad and in the UK, including the Islamist-inspired 2010 stabbing of Stephen Timms MP.  The judge also wrote that in Ali’s view his research on Sir David and his connections to the Jewish community provided further reason to kill him:

“In the days leading up to that appointment the Defendant conducted further internet research in relation to Sir David, including as to his connections with the Jewish community which, in the Defendant’s view, provided a further reason to kill him. The day before the appointment the Defendant researched previous terrorist stabbings in Reading and London.” 

Burnley Marks & Spencer stabbings (alleged) – 2020

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing

Target Type
Indoor venue, Individual civilian

Date
2 December 2020

Region Targeted
Lancashire

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
0

Injuries
1

Perpetrator Status
Charged/Trial

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 1-5 miles

Transport Used
Walking

Summary

On 25 May 2021, Munawar Hussain (aged 57 at the time) was charged with two counts of attempted murder in relation to his alleged attack inside a Marks and Spencer store in Burnley, Lancashire on 2 December 2020. 

Hussain allegedly stabbed two women, a member of staff and a customer, and was was initially detained under the Mental Health Act. He denies attempted murder and pleaded not guilty to two alternative counts of wounding with intent.

Following Hussain's arrest, Lancashire Constabulary stated as follows: 

“Although not currently charged with a Terrorism offence, should Mr Hussain be convicted, the prosecution will make representations to the Court that it determines whether the offence has a terrorism connection in accordance with Section 30 Counter Terrorism Act 2008.”  

Similarly, Judge Nicholas Dean QC, the recorder of Manchester, said:

“Although the allegations are of attempted murder rather than a terror offence, by reason of the alleged motivation or reasons it is said the defendant acted as he did, this is a case that falls within the definition set out in the Terrorism Act 2000.”

Hussain's trial started on 1 February 2022, but the judge discharged the jury for legal reasons the following week. A new trial date was set for March 2023.

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

Attempted London law firm attack (alleged) – 2020

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing

Target Type
Indoor venue, Individual civilian

Date
7 September 2020

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
0

Injuries
Undetermined

Perpetrator Status
Charged/Trial

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 1-5 miles

Transport Used
Undetermined

Summary

Cavan Medlock, an alleged right-wing extremist, is accused of attempting to launch a far-right inspired terror attack and kill a solicitor at a law firm in Harrow, Greater London. He was allegedly opposed to the firm's work representing migrants. 

On 7 September 2020, Cavan Medlock (aged 28 at the time) allegedly visited the Harrow offices of Duncan Lewis Solicitors while armed with a large knife and handcuffs, as well as Nazi and Confederate flags.

Medlock reportedly threatened a receptionist with the knife and allegedly abused two members of staff on the basis of their racial or religious background. 

On 23 October 2020, Medlock was charged with preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). He also faces the following five charges:

  • Possessing a bladed article in a public place
  • Threatening a person with a bladed article in a public place
  • Racially aggravated public order
  • Actual bodily harm
  • Making threats to kill

On 22 December, Medlock pleaded not guilty to six charges, including preparation of terrorist acts. He denied a charge of making a threat to kill a specific solicitor.

However, Medlock pleaded guilty to four other offences relating to three other staff members. He admitted battery and threatening the receptionist with a knife, as well as causing racially aggravated alarm, harassment or distress to the two other employees.

The trial is scheduled to begin on 11 July 2022 at Kingston Crown Court.

Charges are not proof of guilt, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in trial or offers a guilty plea. CPS assessments of any case are not a finding of, or implication of, any guilt or criminal conduct.

Reading stabbing attack – 2020

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing

Target Type
Public area

Date
18 June 2020

Region Targeted
Thames Valley

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
3

Injuries
3

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 1-5 miles

Transport Used
Undetermined

Summary

On 20 June 2020, Khairi Saadallah (aged 25 at the time) murdered three members of the public, and injured three others, in a stabbing attack at Forbury Gardens, Reading. 

Saadallah started planning the attack shortly after his release from prison on 5 June 2020. By 15 June, he had selected Forbury Gardens as his target, and he undertook pre-attack reconnaissance on 17 June.

On the day of the attack, Saadallah wore unassuming clothes to ensure discretion and achieve maximum surprise.

Saadallah travelled to the park with an 8-inch knife inside his backpack. Before entering, he left the backpack in the bin area near a bar adjacent to the park.

He hid the knife in his shorts, entered Forbury Gardens, waited until he was close to the first group of victims and attacked with speed and brutality.

After the attack, Saadallah rushed back to his backpack, removed a pre-prepared razor blade and cut himself in order to appear as a victim. However, he was pursued and arrested. He later told police that he had performed jihad and would go to heaven.

In November 2020, Saadallah pleaded guilty to three counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder, but he denied it was a terrorist attack.

However, in January 2021, Justice Sweeney ruled that all six offences had a terrorist connection under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008.

The judge also stated the Saadallah's attacks "involved a substantial degree of premeditation or planning" and were "done for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, or ideological cause".

In 2011, as a teenager, Saadallah fought with the Ansar al-Sharia militia in Libya. He retained a jihadist ideology and possessed propaganda material on his device(s).

In January 2021, Saadallah was sentenced to a whole life term in prison without parole.

Streatham stabbing attack – 2020

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing, Fake suicide vest

Target Type
Public area

Date
2 February 2020

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon, Fake suicide vest

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
0

Injuries
2

Perpetrator Status
Killed

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Less than 1 mile

Transport Used
Walking

Summary

On 2 February 2020, Sudesh Amman (aged 20 at the time) carried out a jihadist-inspired stabbing attack on Streatham High Road in south London while wearing a fake suicide vest. He injured two members of the public.

Amman, from Harrow, stole the knife from a shop on the high street, which he reportedly visited the previous week. Amman exited the store and began stabbing people at random on the high street.

Armed plain clothes police officers, who were following Amman, engaged him outside about 100 yards from where the attack began. He was fatally shot after officers saw he was wearing a suicide IED vest, later confirmed to be a hoax device. The attack only lasted minutes.

In May 2018, Amman (then aged 17) was charged with numerous terrorism offences relating to possession and dissemination of terrorist documents.

In an online chat earlier in 2018, Amman messaged his girlfriend about pledging allegiance to ISIS. He also said he was considering a terrorist attack in Queensbury and performing reconnaissance.

Judge Lucraft's 2018 sentencing remarks detail Amman's mindset and the terrorist material he accessed. After pleading guilty to all but three offences, Amman was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in prison in December 2018.

At the time of Amman's 2020 attack, he was residing at a bail hostel under a mile away from Streatham High Road. Amman was released from prison a week before he attacked, having served half of his 2018 sentence for prior terrorism offences. 

HMP Whitemoor attack – 2020

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing, Fake suicide vest

Target Type
Police-military-security, Other

Date
9 January 2020

Region Targeted
Cambridgeshire

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon, Fake suicide vest

Number of Attackers
2

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
0

Injuries
5

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Less than 1 mile

Transport Used
Walking

Summary

On 9 January 2020, two HMP Whitemoor prisoners, Brusthom (Brustholm) Ziamani and Baz Macaulay Hockton, attacked a prison security guard and other prison staff.

While shouting “Allahu Akbar”, they inflicted severe blows to the guard. They were armed with five types of crude bladed weapons and slashed the guard’s face and neck.

When prison staff intervened, Ziamani (aged 25 at the time) opened his jacket to reveal a suicide vest IED, which was later determined to be a hoax device. Hockton (aged 26 at the time) also wore a similar hoax device. He had converted to Islam under Ziamani’s influence.

Ziamani was in prison following his conviction in 2015 for an ISIS-inspired plot to behead a British soldier. He wanted to imitate the 2013 jihadist-inspired murder of Lee Rigby. Ziamani was also linked to al-Muhajiroun and its successor groups.

In October 2020, the judge ruled that the prison attack had a terrorist connection under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008.

Ziamani received a life sentence with a minimum term of 21 years in prison for attempted murder of the prison officer. He also received two years for actual bodily harm against the prison nurse and four months for common assault against another prison officer. These are all to run concurrently.

Hockton was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 23 years imprisonment for attempted murder. He also received 10 years for a Section 18 assault while at another prison in 2019. These are all to run concurrently.

Fishmongers' Hall stabbing attack – 2019

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing, Fake suicide vest

Target Type
Indoor venue, Public area

Date
29 November 2019

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon, Fake suicide vest

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
2

Injuries
3

Perpetrator Status
Killed

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Over 100 miles

Transport Used
Public transport

Summary

On 29 November 2019, Usman Khan (aged 28 at the time) perpetrated a stabbing attack inside Fishmongers' Hall on London Bridge. He murdered two and injured three others.

Khan was at the venue to attend an educational event for rehabilitating prisoners. With two knives taped to his wrists, Khan fatally stabbed his first victim inside the male toilets. He then fatally stabbed his second victim near the venue's main door.

Khan attacked others, with some confronting him and chasing him onto London Bridge. Armed police arrived and fatally shot Khan when seeing he was wearing a suicide vest IED, which was later identified as a hoax device.

In 2012, Khan was among a group of nine men convicted for their involvement in an al-Qaeda inspired plot targeting numerous locations in the UK, including the Jewish community. The cell planned to target the London Stock Exchange, sending five mail bombs to various targets in the run up to Christmas 2010 and launching a “Mumbai-style” attack.

Khan and some of the other co-conspirators were also closely linked to Anjem Choudary and al-Muhajiroun successor groups.

In December 2018, Khan was released on licence and wore an electronic tag to monitor his movements. He was reportedly prevented from entering London but was given special permission to travel by train from Stafford to London to attend the November 2019 event at Fishmongers' Hall.

Also see Fishmongers' Hall Inquests.

Stanwell stabbing attack – 2019

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing

Target Type
Individual civilian, Targeted minorities, Public area

Date
16 March 2019

Region Targeted
Surrey

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
0

Injuries
1

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Less than 1 mile

Transport Used
Walking

Summary

On 16 March 2019, Vincent Fuller (aged 50 at the time) perpetrated a far-right inspired stabbing in Stanwell, Surrey. Seeing two men in a car outside a local Tesco store, he stabbed a 19-year-old Bulgarian man through the open driver-side window.

Earlier that evening, Fuller was heard shouting “white supremacy”, making threats to kill Muslims and damaging cars with a baseball bat.

Fuller watched videos of the Christchurch mosque shootings, which took place the day before, and he posted on Facebook that he agreed with Brenton Tarrant’s attacks. Fuller also posted “kill all the non English (sic) and get them all out of our of (sic) England”.

In August 2019, Fuller pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of the driver and racially aggravated harassment of his neighbour, as well as other offences.

In September 2019, Fuller was sentenced to 18 years and nine months, serving a minimum of 12 years and three months before being considered for release.

Judge Lodder QC also ruled that the attempted murder had a terrorist connection.

New Year's Manchester Victoria Station attack – 2018

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing

Target Type
Transport

Date
31 December 2018

Region Targeted
Greater Manchester

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
0

Injuries
3

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 1-5 miles

Transport Used
Walking

Summary

Mahdi Mohamud (then aged 26) stabbed two passengers waiting for a Metrolink train in Manchester Victoria Station on New Year's Eve 2018. He also attacked a British Transport Police officer.

Mohamud, a Dutch national residing in Manchester, reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” and “long live the caliphate” after he was arrested. He was motivated by an Islamist ideology. However, Mohamud has also suffered from a mental illness since 2015, and the court assessed that he was suffering from symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the attack.

Mohamud pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted murder and one count of possessing a record likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism (contrary to Section 58(1)(b) Terrorism Act 2000). The latter was in relation to a document on his mobile phone titled ‘The 7 Most Lethal Ways to Strike With a Knife’.

In November 2019, Mohamud was sentenced to 4 years for the possession offence and life with a minimum of 11 years for attempted murder. The sentences are to run concurrently. He was also made subject of an order under the Mental Health Act.

Westminster ramming attack – 2018

Incident Summary

Ideology
Undetermined

Modus Operandi
Vehicle ramming

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

Date
14 August 2018

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Vehicle

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
0

Injuries
3

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Over 100 miles

Transport Used
Vehicle

Summary

On 14 August 2018, Salih Khater (then aged 29) perpetrated a vehicle ramming attack outside the Palace of Westminster. He attempted to kill pedestrians, cyclists and two police officers on duty.

Driving from Birmingham to London, Khater, shortly before the attack, also drove repeatedly around Parliament Square and the surrounding area in preparation.

In July 2019, Khater was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder. In October 2019, he was sentenced to life in jail and must serve a minimum of 15 years.

In sentencing, the judge ruled that Khater's attempted murder had a terrorist connection.

The judge also stated that Khater "acted for a terrorist purpose" and "replicated the acts of others who undoubtedly have acted with terrorist motives", but also acknowledged that no evidence showed that Khater had expressed extremist views.

Exeter synagogue arson attack – 2018

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Arson

Target Type
Place of worship, Targeted minorities

Date
20 July 2018

Region Targeted
Devon and Cornwall

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Firebomb

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
0

Injuries
0

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
Yes

Distance Travelled
Within 1-5 miles

Transport Used
Vehicle

Summary

On 21 July 2018, Tristan Morgan (aged 51 at the time) perpetrated an arson attack at the Exeter Synagogue. He used a pickaxe to smash a hole in a toilet window, poured in fuel and placed inside the window a piece of flaming paper. Seconds later, a fireball blew out the glass windows, which injured Morgan who then walked away. 

Morgan was arrested shortly after and told police, “Please tell me that synagogue is burning to the ground, if not, it’s poor preparation”. He had researched the opening times of the synagogue and firebombed it when it was closed. 

Morgan pleaded guilty to arson with intent to endanger life, encouragement of terrorism and collection of information for terrorist purposes. The latter offence related to his possession of the “White Resistance Manual”, a 340-page white supremacist publication with instructions on how to use weapons and make IEDs. He also possessed 24 knives.

The court heard expert psychiatric evidence that Morgan was suffering from psychosis at the time of the attack. Experts concluded that Morgan posed a high risk of further violence exacerbated by his use of alcohol and illegal drugs.

In July 2019, the judge imposed a hospital order under the Mental Health Act along with a restriction order for the safety of the public, as well as a ten-year terrorist notification order. 

The judge also referenced Morgan’s “obsession” with antisemitic material, noting how he attempted to burn down the UK’s third oldest synagogue on the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av.

For further details and CCTV footage, see CST's analysis on Tristan Morgan: Far Right Antisemitic Terrorist

Edinburgh park failed bombing – 2018

Incident Summary

Ideology
Single-issue extremism

Modus Operandi
Bombing

Target Type
Public area

Date
11 January 2018

Region Targeted
Edinburgh

Country Targeted
Scotland

Weapons
IED

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
0

Injuries
0

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 1-5 miles

Transport Used
Undetermined

Summary

On 19 January 2022, Nikolaos Karvounakis (aged 35 at the time), a Greek national and former soldier in the Greek Army, pleaded guilty to being in possession of items for a terrorist purpose linked to eco-terrorism (contrary to Section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000).

On 16 February 2022, Karvounakis was sentenced to 8 years and 4 months in prison. He will also be subject to the notification requirements under the Counter Terrorism Act 2008 for 15 years.

On 11 January 2018, Karvounakis left an improvised explosive device (IED) in a shelter in Princes Street Gardens, an urban park in Edinburgh. Members of the public found the device concealed inside a cardboard box, which contained a black pipe, wiring and a battery, as well as the words “f*** you all” written on the internal surface. Police carried out a controlled explosion.

Karvounakis, whose DNA was found on adhesive tape used to make the explosive device, was arrested on 15 June 2021 in Edinburgh. He moved to Scotland in 2013 and had been living in Granton Road, Edinburgh.

In February 2018, Karvounakis emailed a journalist a photo of the device and described himself as a “lover of nihilist anti-political violence”. The email was headed “International Terrorist Group in UK”.

Karvounakis signed it off as “Misanthropos Cacogen” and wrote that he was a member of the International Terrorist Mafia. He also included a link to an eco-extremism website where he had claimed responsibility anonymously on behalf of Individualidades Tendiendo a lo Salvaje (ITS), a nihilist/eco-terrorist group in Mexico. (In English, ITS stand for Individuals Tending to the Wild.)

Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Houston, Police Scotland’s Head of Counter Terrorism Unit, described as follows:

“The ideological beliefs held by Karvounakis were unusual and based on eco-extremism aligned to an international terror group originating from Mexico known as ITS which had been seen in other European countries, but not previously in Scotland.“

Karvounakis purchased the IED’s components over a period of months and constructed the device using an online instructional video. Although the IED did not detonate, it had all the necessary components: an initiator (lightbulb filament), the main charge (ground match heads), a power source and a switch. The device was placed inside a pipe that also contained 58 nails.

In court, part of Karvounakis’s defence was that he intended to cause disruption but not harm, and that the device was not set to detonate. He also expressed remorse for his actions and provided a letter renouncing his ideology.

However, in sentencing Karnouvakis, the judge at the High Court in Edinburgh explained that, “tone of the letter is in stark contrast to the chilling words in your claim of responsibility.”

Parsons Green train bombing – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Bombing

Target Type
Transport

Date
15 September 2017

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
IED

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
0

Injuries
30

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 10-15 miles

Transport Used
Public transport

Summary

On 15 September 2017, Ahmad Hassan (aged 18 at the time) perpetrated a jihadist-inspired bombing on the London Underground (Tube).

The IED was made of 400g of TATP (triacetone triperoxide) explosive, Christmas fairy lights and over 2kg of metal shrapnel. It was hidden inside a heavy shopping bag, and he also placed a pair of trousers over the top of the bag to make it look harmless and to avoid suspicion. 

On the morning of the attack, Hassan took the overground train from Sunbury, Surrey to Wimbledon. On arrival, Hassan entered the public toilets at Wimbledon station, set the timer to detonate in 15 minutes and boarded a District Line train.

Hassan disembarked shortly after at Putney Bridge station, leaving behind the IED. About two minutes later, the device partially detonated at Parsons Green station, injuring 30.

Hassan implemented a pre-planned escape, taking a complex series of bus and train journeys from London to Dover, changing his clothes four times over 24 hours. He was arrested on 16 September while waiting for the Dover Ferry.

In March 2018, Hassan was found guilty of attempted murder and was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 34 years.

The judge ruled that the offences had a terrorist connection under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008. He described Hassan's motivations as follows:

"I am satisfied that you were driven and motivated by four things: a mind-set of ISIS extremism, a deep-seated hatred of this country, a desire for revenge against Britain and America whom you blamed for your father’s death in Iraq and anger at the continued bombing of Iraq by Western Coalition forces."

Hassan, an Iraqi national, arrived in the UK illegally in October 2015.

In February 2016, Counter Terrorism Policing referred him to the Channel programme, and he was placed with a foster family in Sunbury and provided with support. A Channel panel discussed Hassan's case nine separate times, between June 2016 and September 2017.

Additional resources

Finsbury Park ramming attack – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Vehicle ramming

Target Type
Public area, Targeted minorities

Date
18 June 2017

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Vehicle

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
1

Injuries
10

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Over 100 miles

Transport Used
Vehicle

Summary

On 19 June 2017, Darren Osborne (aged 48 at the time) perpetrated a far-right inspired vehicle ramming targeting Muslim pedestrians near Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park, north London, killing 1 and injuring 8. The attack occurred in the early morning hours after night-time Ramadan prayers.

Osborne drove a hired van 146 miles from Cardiff to central London. His original target was the Al-Quds Day event but road closures prevented him from reaching the demonstration.

Osborne then spent the entire day driving across central, south and north London looking for Muslim targets, finally arriving in Finsbury Park just before midnight.

He undertook last-minute dry-run or hostile reconnaissance activity, before returning to his van and executing the attack. During his arrest, Osborne told officers that, “I’ve done my job, you can kill me now".

Osborne radicalised rapidly over the space of a month, consuming and engaging in online material spreading extreme racism and hatred of Muslims. Prior to the attack, Osborne had over 100 criminal convictions since his youth.

In February 2018, Osborne was found guilty of one count of murder and one count of attempted murder.

The judge ruled that the murder had a terrorist connection under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008. Osborne was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of 43 years.

Additional resources

London Bridge/Borough Market attacks – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Vehicle ramming, Stabbing, Fake suicide vest

Target Type
Public area, Iconic location

Date
3 June 2017

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Vehicle, Bladed weapon, Fake suicide vest, Firebomb

Number of Attackers
3

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Number of Locations
2

Fatalities
8

Injuries
48

Perpetrator Status
Killed

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 10-15 miles

Transport Used
Vehicle

Summary

On 3 June 2017, Khuram Butt (aged 27 at the time), Rachid Redouane (aged 30 at the time) and Youssef Zaghba (aged 22 at the time) perpetrated an ISIS-inspired vehicle ramming against pedestrians on London Bridge. They then abandoned their rental van and continued with a marauding stabbing attack at Borough Market, attacking people outside and inside restaurants and pubs.

In the van, they had several wine bottles filled with petrol for use as petrol bombs, though they were not used in the attack. In total, the three attackers murdered 7 and injured 48. Each attacker was armed with a 12-inch ceramic knife taped to their wrists, as well as wearing fake suicide vests. Police fatally shot all three attackers.

Khuram Butt was known to UK security authorities in relation to investigations into the proscribed group al-Muhajiroun. Between mid-2015 and 2017, MI5 actively investigated Butt due to reports of his aspirations to commit an attack in the UK.

Although the investigation remained open at the time of the 2017 attack, MI5 had not detected signs of attack planning. By contrast, MI5 did not investigate Zaghba, an Italian national, but he was known to Italian authorities. Redouane was also not investigated.

Additional resources

Manchester Arena suicide bombing – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Suicide bombing

Target Type
Indoor venue

Date
22 May 2017

Region Targeted
Greater Manchester

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
IED

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
22

Injuries
1000

Perpetrator Status
Killed

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 1-5 miles

Transport Used
Vehicle, Public transport

Summary

On 22 May 2017, Salman Abedi (aged 22) perpetrated an ISIS-inspired suicide bombing in the foyer of the Manchester Arena as an Ariana Grande pop concert was drawing to a close. The explosion killed 22 and physically injured 237 others, 91 of whom were classed as being either “very seriously” or “seriously” injured.

Salman detonated a large IED that was hidden inside the 65-liter backpack he was carrying. The device was packed with TATP (triacetone triperoxide) explosive and a large quantity of shrapnel consisting of screws, nuts, and cross dowels. Salman carried out at least three pre-attack hostile reconnaissance visits to the Arena on 18 May, 21 May and the evening of 22 May.

Salman and his co-conspirator - his younger brother Hashem - left their home in Manchester, UK for Libya on 15 April 2017. Salman returned on 18 May, but Hashem remained in Libya.

After a two-year extradition process, Hashem was returned to the UK in July 2019 and was formally arrested and charged for his involvement in the attack. His trial commenced in February 2020.

Hashem planned the attack with Salman in the months leading up to the bombing and was involved in building the IED that Salman detonated. Hashem persuaded unwitting close acquaintances to purchase chemicals that could be used to manufacture explosives; he sourced metal drums that were used to build bomb prototypes; and he bought a vehicle that was used to store bomb components in Manchester while the brothers were in Libya.

Hashem also acted as Salman's driver, travelling with him between addresses in the Rusholme and Blackley areas of Manchester where the brothers manufactured explosives.

In March 2020, Hashem was found guilty of 22 counts of murder, one of attempted murder in relation to those who survived and one of conspiracy to cause an explosion.

In August 2020, Hashem was jailed for life with a minimum of 55 years before he can even be considered for parole. The judge ruled that Salman and Hashem "were equally culpable for the deaths and injuries which were caused by the explosion".

Additional resources

Westminster Bridge/Parliament attack – 2017

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Vehicle ramming, Stabbing

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

Date
22 March 2017

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Vehicle, Bladed weapon

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person, Online

Number of Locations
2

Fatalities
5

Injuries
49

Perpetrator Status
Killed

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 40-60 miles

Transport Used
Vehicle

Summary

On 22 March 2017, Khalid Masood (aged 52) perpetrated a vehicle ramming across Westminster Bridge in central London. Driving from the South Bank side towards the North Bank side, he mounted the pavement several times and struck numerous pedestrians, killing four.

After his vehicle crashed into the perimeter of the Palace of Westminster, Masood got out and, holding two knives, fatally stabbed an unarmed police officer at the Carriage Gates entrance. Armed police fatally shot Masood. The entire attack lasted under 90 seconds.

On 19 March, three days earlier, Masood conducted online and in-person hostile reconnaissance at Westminster Bridge. Masood had lived in Winson Green, Birmingham, but he travelled back-and-forth between Cobham (Surrey), Brighton and central London in the days before the attack.

Masood had a non-terrorist, criminal history dating to 1978. Although Masood was known to police and MI5, he was a closed MI5 "Subject of Interest" at the time of the attack. Between 2004 and 2013, MI5 knew him due to links with extremists, and they investigated him between 2010 and 2012.

Between 2012 and 2016, Masood was also an occasional contact of extremists linked to al-Muhajiroun in Luton and Crawley, but no evidence shows that he was a member.

Additional resources

Jo Cox MP murder – 2016

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Shooting, Stabbing

Target Type
Politician, Public area

Date
16 June 2016

Region Targeted
West Yorkshire

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Firearm, Bladed weapon

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person, Online

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
1

Injuries
1

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 1-5 miles

Transport Used
Walking

Summary

On 16 June 2016, Thomas Mair (aged 52 at the time) murdered Labour MP Jo Cox in a stabbing and shooting attack motivated by extreme right-wing sentiments. Mair also seriously injured a second victim who intervened.

Mair planned the attack over several weeks, researching his victim and the firearm used. On 15 June, the day before his attack, Mair visited Birstall Library and asked if he needed to book an appointment to attend Jo Cox's surgeries.

On 16 June, Mair waited at a bus stop with a direct line of sight towards Birstall Library in West Yorkshire, where Jo Cox was scheduled to hold her constituency surgery. Mair initially approached the library but returned to his observation point when realising she had not arrived.

Mair attacked shortly after her arrival, shooting and stabbing her multiple times. He was heard shouting repeatedly "Britain First", "Keep Britain independent" and "Britain will always come first". West Yorkshire Police provided CCTV footage of Mair's movements and a full timeline of the murder of Jo Cox. 

His home contained extensive white supremacist and Nazi material, and he kept newspaper reports of the Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Breivik. In his first court appearance, Mair shouted "death to traitors, Britain comes first". 

In November 2016, Mair was found guilty of murder, possession of a firearm with intent, causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent and possession of an offensive weapon.

The murder of Jo Cox fit the definition of terrorism under Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He was sentenced to a whole life term.

In sentencing Mair, the judge stated that, "this murder was done for the purpose of advancing a political, racial and ideological cause namely that of violent white supremacism and exclusive nationalism most associated with Nazism and its modern forms".

Imam Jalal Uddin murder – 2016

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Bludgeoning

Target Type
Individual civilian, Public area

Date
18 February 2016

Region Targeted
Greater Manchester

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
1

Injuries
0

Perpetrator Status
Convicted, Escaped

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Less than 1 mile

Transport Used
Vehicle

Summary

On 18 February 2016, Mohammed Hussain Syeedy and his alleged accomplice, Mohamed Kadir, murdered Imam Jalal Uddin in a park play area in Wardleworth, Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

Syeedy, from Ramsay Street in Rochdale, and others had monitored Uddin's movements for months. On the day of the attack, Syeedy and Kadir followed Imam Uddin in their car.

Uddin entered the children's play area at the end of South Street in Wardleworth, and Kadir allegedly followed him into the play area and allegedly used a hammer to fatally bludgeon Imam Uddin.

Syeedy then drove to the other side of the play area, collected his alleged accomplice and fled.

Imam Uddin's practice of taweez faith healing was the motive for the murder. Syeedy and others regarded taweez as a form of forbidden magic. Police later discovered a large volume of ISIS-related material on Syeedy's electronic devices.

In September 2016, Syeedy was convicted of murder and sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Mohamed Kadir, from Chamber Road, Oldham, fled the UK to Syria after the murder. He has never been arrested in relation to the attack. 

In April 2017, Mohammed Syadul Hussain, from Rochdale, was sentenced to five years after being found guilty of assisting an offender. He withdrew £700 from his bank account and gave it to Mohamed Kadir two days after Uddin's murder.

Tesco supermarket stabbing – 2015

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing

Target Type
Indoor venue, Individual civilian, Targeted minorities

Date
14 January 2015

Region Targeted
North Wales

Country Targeted
Wales

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
0

Injuries
1

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Less than 1 mile

Transport Used
Undetermined

Summary

On 14 January 2015, National Action supporter and neo-Nazi Zack Davies (aged 25 at the time) perpetrated a racially motivated hammer and machete attack, trying to behead Dr Sarandev Bhambra inside a Tesco's in Mold, Flintshire, Wales. The victim suffered serious injuries.

Davies was seeking revenge attack for the 2013 murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich. Witnesses heard Davies shout "white power" and "this is for Lee Rigby". During the trial, Davies admitted that he was fascinated with ISIS and that Jihadi John (Mohammed Emwazi) inspired him.

In June 2015, Davies was convicted of attempted murder. In September 2015, he was sentenced to life with a minimum of 14 years. The judge described Davie's attack as "planned and racially motivated attack".

Tipton mosque failed bombing – 2013

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Bombing

Target Type
Place of worship, Targeted minorities

Date
11 July 2013

Region Targeted
West Midlands

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
IED

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person, Online

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
0

Injuries
0

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 10-15 miles

Transport Used
Public transport

Summary

Between April and July 2013, Pavlo Lapshyn (aged 25 at the time), a white supremacist and Ukrainian national, perpetrated four anti-Muslim attacks in the West Midlands: one stabbing murder and three bombings.

On 11 July 2013, Lapshyn's fourth and final attack targeted the Kanzul Iman Central Jamia Mosque in Tipton. He left an IED hidden inside a laptop bag at the mosque's carpark and timed it to detonate the following day (12 July) at 1:03pm, around afternoon prayers.

The IED consisted of 40g of homemade HMTD as the primary charge, 600g of main charge in one metal container and 600g of nails as shrapnel in another container, a mobile phone and a battery. However, Lapshyn made an error with the main charge, which was inert.

The IED partially detonated and propelled shrapnel as far as 75 yards (69 metres) away. On 8 July, Lapshyn had carried out pre-attack hostile reconnaissance in the area of the mosque.

In October 2013, Lapshyn pleaded guilty to murder, to causing an explosion with intent to endanger life and to engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). He was sentenced to life with a minimum of 40 years.

During sentencing, the judge described Lapshyn as follows: "You clearly hold extreme right wing white supremacist views, and you were motivated to commit the offences by religious and racial hatred in the hope that you would ignite racial conflict and cause Muslims to leave the area where you were living".

On 24 April 2013, a few days before his first attack, Lapshyn arrived in the UK from Ukraine on a work placement while studying for an engineering PhD.

Additional note

In August 2020, Pavlo Lapshyn pleaded guilty to making an explosive substance in his prison cell. He used copper wire, salt, pencil and other substances to create a viable explosive. The judge sentenced in him to an additional two-year sentence.

Wolverhampton mosque failed bombing – 2013

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Bombing

Target Type
Place of worship, Targeted minorities

Date
27 June 2013

Region Targeted
West Midlands

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
IED

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Online

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
0

Injuries
0

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 15-25 miles

Transport Used
Public transport

Summary

Between April and July 2013, Pavlo Lapshyn (aged 25 at the time), a white supremacist and Ukrainian national, perpetrated four anti-Muslim attacks in the West Midlands: one stabbing murder and three bombings.

On 27 June 2013, Lapshyn's third of four attacks targeted the Jamia Masjid Aqsa (Wolverhampton Central Mosque) in Wolverhampton. He planted an IED 20 yards (18 metres) from the mosque and timed it to detonate at 9am.

The IED consisted of 40g of homemade HMTD as the primary explosive, with 600g of main charge and a timing device with two 9V batteries. However, Lapshyn erred in relation to the composition of the main charge, which was inert. The IED partially detonated.

In October 2013, Lapshyn pleaded guilty to murder, to causing an explosion with intent to endanger life and to engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). He was sentenced to life with a minimum of 40 years.

During sentencing, the judge described Lapshyn as follows: "You clearly hold extreme right wing white supremacist views, and you were motivated to commit the offences by religious and racial hatred in the hope that you would ignite racial conflict and cause Muslims to leave the area where you were living".

On 24 April 2013, a few days before his first attack, Lapshyn arrived in the UK from Ukraine on a work placement while studying for an engineering PhD.

Additional note

In August 2020, Pavlo Lapshyn pleaded guilty to making an explosive substance in his prison cell. He used copper wire, salt, pencil and other substances to create a viable explosive. The judge sentenced in him to an additional two-year sentence.

Walsall mosque failed bombing – 2013

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Bombing

Target Type
Place of worship, Targeted minorities

Date
21 June 2013

Region Targeted
West Midlands

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
IED

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
In person, Online

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
0

Injuries
0

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 10-15 miles

Transport Used
Public transport

Summary

Between April and July 2013, Pavlo Lapshyn (aged 25 at the time), a white supremacist and Ukrainian national, perpetrated four anti-Muslim attacks in the West Midlands: one stabbing murder and three bombings.

On 21 June 2013, Lapshyn's second of four attacks targeted the Aisha Mosque and Islamic Centre in Walsall. He devised an IED from a 400ml drink bottle, 10g of homemade HMTD as the primary charge, an intended main charge, a lantern battery and an adapted mobile telephone that was used as a timer to detonate the device.

However, Lapyshn used the wrong variant of the chemical in the main charge, rendering it inert. He timed the device to detonate at the end of night-time prayers, but it only partially detonated. On 19 June, Lapshyn had carried out pre-attack hostile reconnaissance around the mosque.

In October 2013, Lapshyn pleaded guilty to murder, to causing an explosion with intent to endanger life and to engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). He was sentenced to life with a minimum of 40 years.

During sentencing, the judge described Lapshyn as follows: "You clearly hold extreme right wing white supremacist views, and you were motivated to commit the offences by religious and racial hatred in the hope that you would ignite racial conflict and cause Muslims to leave the area where you were living".

On 24 April 2013, a few days before his first attack, Lapshyn arrived in the UK from Ukraine on a work placement while studying for an engineering PhD.

Additional note

In August 2020, Pavlo Lapshyn pleaded guilty to making an explosive substance in his prison cell. He used copper wire, salt, pencil and other substances to create a viable explosive. The judge sentenced in him to an additional two-year sentence.

Lee Rigby murder (Woolwich attack) – 2013

Incident Summary

Ideology
Jihadist extremism

Modus Operandi
Vehicle ramming, Stabbing

Target Type
Police-military-security, Public area

Date
22 May 2013

Region Targeted
Greater London

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Vehicle, Bladed weapon, Firearm

Number of Attackers
2

Hostile Reconnaissance
Undetermined

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
1

Injuries
0

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 5-10 miles

Transport Used
Vehicle

Summary

On 22 May 2013, Michael Adebolajo (aged 29 at the time) and Michael Adebowale (aged 22 at the time) perpetrated the jihadist-inspired ramming and stabbing murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in Artillery Place, Woolwich, south east London.

The pair prepared their attack over a period, deciding to murder a British soldier in daylight in order to receive maximum media coverage. They were armed with an unloaded firearm, meat cleaver and several knives.

After around 08:45, Adebolajo drove his Vauxhall Tigra from his home in Greenwich House, Oakwood Close in Lewisham (south east London) and picked up Adebowale at his home address in Macey House, Thames Street in Greenwich (south east London).

The pair then drove back towards Lewisham and only started their journey towards Woolwich at around 13:00. They arrived at Wellington Street and Artillery Place at around 13:30 and waited to spot a British solider to attack.

At approximately 14:20, Adebolajo and Adebowale identified Lee Rigby as a soldier. Rigby, who was wearing a “Help for Heroes” top and carrying an Army day sack, was returning to his accommodation at the Royal Artillery Barracks. 

Adebolajo accelerated to 30-40 mph and rammed the vehicle into Rigby from behind, rendering him unconscious and unable to defend himself. The vehicle crashed into a signpost and stopped.

Adebolajo and Adebowale then exited the vehicle and repeatedly stabbed Rigby, trying to behead him and dragging his body into the middle of the road. 

After the attack, Adebolajo distributed a pre-written statement justifying their actions and was filmed making a similar statement. Once police arrived, the pair charged at officers who shot and injured them. They had aspired to achieve "martyrdom" in getting killed by armed officers.

Adebolajo and Adebowale were known to British security services for their previous involvement in Islamist activities. Both attended events organised by al-Muhajiroun successor groups.

In November 2010, Kenyan authorities arrested Adebolajo with a group of five youths who were reportedly attempting to travel into Somalia to join the al-Shabaab terrorist group.

In December 2013, Adebolajo and Adebowale were convicted of murdering Rigby. 

In February 2014, Adebolajo was sentenced to a whole life term, and Adebowale (who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia) was sentenced to life with a minimum of 45 years. Justice Sweeney ruled that their attack was a murder with a terrorist connection under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008.

Additional resources

Mohammed Saleem murder – 2013

Incident Summary

Ideology
Right-wing extremism

Modus Operandi
Stabbing

Target Type
Individual civilian, Targeted minorities, Public area

Date
28 April 2013

Region Targeted
West Midlands

Country Targeted
England

Weapons
Bladed weapon

Number of Attackers
1

Hostile Reconnaissance
Online

Number of Locations
1

Fatalities
1

Injuries
0

Perpetrator Status
Convicted

Anti-Jewish Targeting
No

Distance Travelled
Within 1-5 miles

Transport Used
Public transport

Summary

Between April and July 2013, Pavlo Lapshyn (aged 25 at the time), a white supremacist and Ukrainian national, perpetrated four anti-Muslim attacks in the West Midlands: one stabbing murder and three bombings.

On 29 April 2013, Lapshyn's first of four attacks targeted 82-year-old Mohammed Saleem in Small Heath, Birmingham. Lapshyn started following Saleem as he was walking home after evening prayers at a local mosque. Using a hunting knife, Lapshyn fatally stabbed Saleem three times and then fled.

In October 2013, Lapshyn pleaded guilty to murder, to causing an explosion with intent to endanger life and to engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006). He was sentenced to life with a minimum of 40 years.

During sentencing, the judge described Lapshyn as follows: "You clearly hold extreme right wing white supremacist views, and you were motivated to commit the offences by religious and racial hatred in the hope that you would ignite racial conflict and cause Muslims to leave the area where you were living".

On 24 April 2013, a few days before his first attack, Lapshyn arrived in the UK from Ukraine on a work placement while studying for an engineering PhD.

Additional note

In August 2020, Pavlo Lapshyn pleaded guilty to making an explosive substance in his prison cell. He used copper wire, salt, pencil and other substances to create a viable explosive. The judge sentenced in him to an additional two-year sentence.