Ludlow, a Royal Mail worker from Rochester, Kent, who called himself the “Eagle”, had posted a video on YouTube in which he talked of being a neo-Nazi before converting to Islam at the age of 16. He had used Facebook to set up a fake account called “Antique Collections” in order to raise funds for Isis. The account appeared to be a legitimate business which was selling collectables from an address in Maidstone.
Ludlow appeared at the Old Bailey this afternoon by video link from Belmarsh jail wearing a black T-shirt and green prayer cap and pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism and raising funds for terrorism. Ludlow was arrested by counter terrorism police on April 18 and at an initial court appearance refused to stand, telling the chief magistrate he could only stand for Allah.
He had been due to face trial on two terror charges but on Friday changed his plea when he appeared via videolink at the Old Bailey, admitting plotting an attack in the UK and funding IS abroad.
The ginger-haired defendant, who lived with his parents, brother and sister in a semi-detached former council house, is understood to have converted to Islam when he was 17 and became a regular at Friday prayers at a nearby mosque in Chatham.
He first came to the attention of police two years later, in 2010, when he attended a rally at the US embassy led by Choudary and his banned Al-Muhajiroun (ALM) group. Police saw him attend various ALM demonstrations, when he was spotted with, or near, Choudary, Lee Rigby’s killer Michael Adebowale and other “prominent” extremist figures. Ludlow was arrested by Kent Police in August 2015 on suspicion of being a member of ALM.
A mobile phone seized from his home contained messages suggesting he planned to travel to Syria as well as videos of beheadings but the CPS said there was not enough evidence to prosecute. Another phone, later recovered from a storm drain near Ludlow’s home, contained photographs of his reconnaissance trip to central London as well as a “sinister” amateur video in which he pledged allegiance to Isil.
Several torn up notes found in the bins detailed various potential targets and the busiest times of day on Oxford Street. One said “Wolf should either use a ram attack or use… on the truck to maximise death. It is a busy street it is ideal for an attack. It is expected nearly 100 could be killed in the attack.” . . “potential attack sites” which including Madame Tussauds, Oxford Street, St Paul’s and Shia Muslim temples in Forest Gate and Streatham.
He will be sentenced on November 2.
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