Teenager guilty of plot to behead soldier

ziamaniA teenager who was on his way to behead a British soldier with a 12in knife when he was arrested, has been found guilty of preparing a terrorist act.

Brusthom Ziamani, 19, was also carrying a hammer and an “Islamic flag” when he was arrested in London in August 2014.

The court heard he had been inspired by the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in 2013, researched Army cadet bases and boasted of a plot to “kill soldiers”.

Ziamani, of Camberwell, London, will be sentenced on March 20.

He was arrested in east London at about 16:30 BST on August 19 as part of a joint police and MI5 intelligence operation.

Earlier that day, police say he visited his former girlfriend, where he showed her the knife and hammer and told her he intended to attack and kill soldiers.

Commander Richard Walton, from the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism command, said the teenager’s plot “starkly illustrates” one of the threats facing the UK.

“Ziamani was an impressionable young man who became radicalised then rapidly developed an extremist, violent mindset,” he said.

“Over a series of months, he ultimately developed a desire to carry out a terrorist attack on British soldiers.”

Mr Walton added that police had probably prevented a “horrific terrorist attack taking place on the streets of London”.

Commander Richard Walton says Ziamani was radicalised in weeks

The jury at London’s Old Bailey convicted Ziamani of preparing an act of terrorism on or before August 20 last year after deliberating for more than a day.

Ziamani’s barrister, Naeem Mian, told Judge Timothy Pontius that the teenager could expect the sentence to be one of “considerable length” but pointed to the fact that he was still “a young man who has no previous convictions at all”.

The judge adjourned the case until next month to consider the sentence.


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