A radical Islamist teenager has admitted plotting a 9/11 anniversary bomb attack in London, possibly targeting an Elton John concert in Hyde Park and the city’s main shopping street.
Haroon Syed, 19, was caught chatting online with a British Security Service officer who posed as a fellow extremist willing to help him source weapons for the attack.
|Elton John at Hyde Park Concert on September 11 last year
The court heard how Syed - whose brother, Nadir, 23, was jailed last year over an IS-inspired terror plot - tried to get weapons online, including a bomb. He was plotting to carry out a beheading around Remembrance Sunday, when Britain pays tribute to its veterans and war dead.
The teenager also searched the internet for Islamic State, past terrorist attacks, and potential attack locations, including Oxford Circus and an Elton John concert in Hyde Park on 11 September last year.
When he was arrested on September 8, he told police his phone password was ISIS, an acronym for the Islamic State jihadist group.
His defence statement said he was groomed by radicals online but he never intended to carry out an attack. His chats with the agent were merely a “fantasy to see how far it would go”, the statement claimed.
Syed pleaded guilty after failing to get the case thrown out and failing to exclude the key evidence from the online chat.
His lawyer said the state should have channeled Syed through the government’s de-radicalisation programme rather than allow him to continue on the path he was on.
As Syed was being drawn in by agents, his IS-inspired older brother was jailed for