A man has been found guilty of plotting a terror attack on the streets of London during last year’s Remembrance Sunday events.Inspired by an Islamic State fatwa, Nadir Syed, 22, planned to carry out an execution in a bid to copy soldier Lee Rigby’s brutal killing, Woolwich Crown Court heard. Syed planned to launch a car and knives attack in November last year as the country carried out Poppy day commemorations.
Syed was fixated by violence and knives and “unnaturally interested in murders and beheadings”, his six-week trial heard.
He had tried to leave for Syria in January last year but was stopped at the airport because he was on bail.
The court was also told Syed wrote a message which said: “Wearing a poppy supports murdering terrorist.”
A video clip filmed on a mobile phone showed Syed laughing as he stamped on a paper poppy in the street. Prosecutor Max Hill QC said the action was demonstrative of his “attitude to the poppy as the remembrance image in this country”.
He was obsessed with Fusilier Rigby’s killers and inspired by an Isil fatwa issued weeks before ordering followers to murder soldier and police wherever they were.
Large “Rambo-style” knives had been bought when police moved in just days before the annual events. Syed was arrested on 6 November last year – shortly after buying a blade, the court heard. He told police he went to buy knives for his mother because “she was complaining about the state of the knives in her kitchen”.
Dressed in a burgundy sweatshirt and wearing an Islamic skull cap, he showed no reaction in court as he was convicted.
His sentencing date is to be confirmed. The jury was unable to reach verdicts on Haseeb Hamayoon, 28, and Yousaf Syed, 20, and a retrial has been ordered. The cell is also the first to be convicted of plotting an attack in the UK after being prevented from travelling to Syria.
The case also will reignite concerns around the banned extremist group al-Muhajroun, which Syed was associated with. A senior counter-terrorism officer said: “We believe we stopped an attack happening in the UK aimed at soldiers and police officers. Had it been successful we would have seen death and a horrific terrorism attack on a scale, sadly, worse than Drummer Lee Rigby.”