Monday 25 September 2017

Teen who plotted to bomb Elton John gig on 9/11 anniversary jailed for life

Haroon Syed trawled the web to find a busy area in London to launch a mass casualty attack
Haroon Syed trawled the web to find a busy area in London to launch a mass casualty attack

Emily Pennink

A teenager who plotted to bomb an Elton John concert on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks has been jailed for life.

Haroon Syed, 19, tried to get a suicide vest or machine gun and identified the Hyde Park event as a possible target.

He was snared online by officers from the British Security Service posing as a fellow extremist.

The Old Bailey heard the trigger for his radicalisation was the arrest of his older brother for plotting an Islamic State-inspired Poppy Day attack.

Syed, from Hounslow, west London, had admitted preparation of terrorist acts between April and September last year.

Mitigating, Mark Summers QC said it was a "crude, ill-thought-out" plan made at the behest of others.

The court heard Syed had fallen under the influence of members of Al-Muhajiroun (ALM), the banned group linked to jailed preacher Anjem Choudary.

Despite the risk around the time of his brother's arrest, Syed, slipped through the net of the Prevent anti-radicalisation team although his passport was seized in 2015.

Home Office approved de-radicalisation expert and Bradford imam Alyas Karmani told the court there should have been earlier intervention in his case.

Mr Summers added that Syed now publicly rejected his past beliefs and condemned the recent bomb attack at the Ariana Grande pop concert in Manchester.

But Judge Michael Topolski QC said the risk Syed posed warranted a discretionary life sentence and ordered him to serve a minimum of 16 and a half years.

Press Association

Editors Choice

Also in World News