Jihadist beheading plot inspired by ‘chilling’ fatwa

Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). © Stringer
A plot to stage an Islamic State-style beheading on the streets of Britain was inspired by a “truly chilling” fatwa from its leaders, a court has heard.

Three men, Nadir Syed, 21, Yousaf Syed, 19, and Haseeb Hamayoon, 27, are being prosecuted for planning a knife attack that would have taken place just weeks after the extremist Islamic State preacher Abu Mohammed al-Adani gave a speech promoting attacks on Western countries.

The court heard the men had been obsessed with the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich in 2013. Hamayoon had purchased a Rambo-style knife and two of the trio had stored photos of police community officers on their phones.

An attack had been planned after both Syeds were stopped from traveling to Syria.

The men were arrested in November 2014 shortly before Remembrance Sunday.

Prosecuting lawyer Max Hill QC described the fatwa by al-Adnani as “chilling,” claiming it had inspired the men to act.

The preacher called for “crusaders” to “strike their police, security and intelligence members” and to “slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him from a high place, or choke him or poison him.”

In his opening remarks to the court, Hill said the words created a “considerable stir.”

“To people of a certain mind, by which I mean Islamic extremists such as these three defendants, the fatwa created a considerable stir.

“As we shall see, these defendants became aware of it on the day of release, and they discussed it themselves at length, in an online chat group we shall look at later, under the following key message ‘IS supporters to kill civilians everywhere in the West.’

“Therefore, the fatwa was accepted as the catalyst for violence, and planning for violence in the case of these defendants by plotting to kill with knives, in this country,” he said.

By the time they were ready to commit an atrocity, the two Syeds were unable to leave the UK. All three showed an interest in knives and beheadings.

“All three were ready, we say, for the important Islamic State fatwa exhorting and encouraging such murders,” Hill said.

“There is a level of interest, we will say, in the Lee Rigby case we will see again, again and again. That was as brutal killing with the use of knives on the streets of London.”

The men deny charges of preparing an act of terrorism.

The trial continues.