Trial of terror suspect who ‘planned Woolwich-style murder of soldier’ begins

Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett
A British teenager, who idolized the killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby, has gone on trial at the Old Bailey in London for allegedly planning an attack on British soil. He allegedly planned to behead British soldiers.

Brustholm Ziamani, 19, who changed his name to Mujahid Karim when he converted to Islam, stands accused of preparing an act of terrorism.

On Monday, the jury was told “his hatred of non-believers and interest in violent jihad began to crystallize into a plan to attack a member of the military forces.”

He was arrested in East London on August 19 last year, carrying a rucksack with a large knife and hammer wrapped up in an Islamic flag.

The prosecution say Ziamani later told a security officer at Wandsworth Prison he was “on his way to kill a British soldier at an army barracks” when he was detained.

He also reportedly said he intended to behead a soldier and then pose for a photograph holding the severed head, in imitation of similar images posted online by Islamic State fighters.

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The defendant said Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo, who killed soldier Lee Rigby in broad daylight in London in 2013, became “legend” after their crime.

The court heard Ziamani had researched the location of military bases.

In a letter found in a pair of jeans belonging to the defendant and addressed to his “beloved parents” he had written: “Because I have no means ov getting there I will wage war against the british government on this soil. [sic].”

“Now we will take a thousand ov yours then ten thousand and send you all to the hell-fire you want war you got it British soldiers heads will be removed and burned u cannot defeat the Muslims we love to die the way you love to live my fellow muslim brothers these people want war lets kill them slaughter them and implement sharia in our lands and UK [sic].”

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Ziamani, a British national of Congolese Christian origin, allegedly told his 16-year-old girlfriend he “wanted to die a martyr.”

Messages written by the defendant on Facebook were read out to the jury.

One post from May 3, 2014, read: “Sharia Law on its way on our streets we will implement it its part of our religion we will get Dem kufar soon we r soldiers of Allah TAKBIR [sic].”

However, Ziamani denied having planned a terrorist attack. He said the letters were in case he went abroad and died fighting there, or if the UK became an Islamic State.

The trial continues and is due to finish by the end of next week.