British teenager found guilty of terror plot to behead soldier

Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett
A teenager was found guilty by a jury at the Old Bailey in London on Thursday of plotting to behead a British soldier.

Brustholm Ziamani, 19, 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.

During the trial, prosecutors said Ziamani told a security office at Wandsworth Prison he was “on his way to kill a British soldier at an army barracks” when he was detained.

He 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.

He will be sentenced on March 20.

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

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

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].”

Messages written by Ziamani on Facebook were read out to the jury during the trial.

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.