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Buckingham Palace sword attacker said killing pregnant women is ‘fair game’ if they weren’t Muslim, court hears
From the Independent Photographs from the Daily Mail earlier
The Buckingham Palace sword attacker told his sister he was about to launch “another attack” months after being acquitted of a terror offence, the court has heard.
Mohiussunnath Chowdhury allegedly trained for an attack on potential targets including a gay Pride parade and Madame Tussauds after being freed from custody at the end of a retrial.
Woolwich Crown Court heard that the 28-year-old told undercover police officers of his intentions and said that any non-Muslims were “fair game”.
On 20 June – six months after his release from prison – a covert recording showed him telling his sister, Sneha Chowdhury, that he was quitting his job at a chicken shop in Luton.
“I’m doing another attack bruv,” Mr Chowdhury said. “I’m serious bro, it’s about time now.”
But giving evidence at his trial, he claimed he made the comment “for attention” and did not mean it.
Prosecutors told a jury that the defendant was “to unleash death and suffering on non-Muslim members of the public who happened to be present, using a firearm, sword and even a van as part of an attack”.
The court heard that Mr Chowdhury boasted to undercover police of “deceiving” the jury that cleared him of a terror offence after he attacked officers with a sword outside Buckingham Palace in August 2017. At trial, he claimed that he drove to London with a large sword and drew it on police while shouting “Allahu akbar” because he felt suicidal and wanted to be shot dead. After his release, Mr Chowdhury was recorded telling undercover police, his cousin and a friend that his real intention had been to kill the officers in a terror attack.
The court heard that Mr Chowdhury had debated terrorism with his friends in online chats, telling one man that killing a soldier or police officer would be “instant paradise innit”.
When the friend said that he could not condone the murder of a pregnant woman or children, he replied: “It’s halal [permissible] because it is not sacred. if they’re not Muslim then they’re fair game. . . : When you fight in war you fight men to men, yeah, but the war has come to a stage now where it’s like they are bombing our women... pound them equally as they pound you.”
The court heard the he praised previous terror attacks, calling the Charlie Hebdo massacre “epic” and the murder of Lee Rigby “amazing”.
Asked about his remarks on the Charlie Hebdo attack ...“It was beautiful that they stood up and attacked them,” he told the jury. “I don’t think it’s right that they did that [but] it’s like they put their foot in it. They were warned not to do these things, so it’s hard for me to have sympathy for people who insulted my prophet.”
The court previously heard that Mr Chowdhury engaged in physical training for an attack, acquiring wooden swords, enrolling on a shooting training course and obtaining a replica pistol while seeking a live firearm and ammunition. Mr Chowdhury said he had just “played” with his young cousins and sister using the wooden swords, and cancelled the firearms course.
When presented with photos showing canvas with apparent knife marks from his home, he admitted using it for stabbing practice with his sister, who is charged with failing to inform police about his plans. Mr Chowdhury admitted that they practised stabbing motions together, with a knife kept under his bed, but said it was for “protection against intruders” after their neighbours were burgled. In a recorded conversation in April last year, Mr Chowdhury allegedly told his sister that he “needed to practice decapitation techniques”.
A recording showed him telling his sister that he was targeting children who came into the chicken shop where he worked after prayers at a nearby mosque, adding: “They come in the shop and I start radicalising them.” Mr Chowdhury told the court that he was “just messing around” and the claim was “nonsense”.
Mr Chowdhury denies preparing acts of terrorism, disseminating a terrorist publication and possessing terrorist information. His 25-year-old sister denies two counts of failing to disclose information regarding terrorist activity.
The trial continues.