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Sunday 10 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C

Teenager who planned to behead soldiers jailed for 22 years

Brusthom Ziamani was found with a 12-inch knife and hammer.


A TEENAGER WHO was was found by police with a hammer, a 12-inch knife, an ‘Islamic flag’ and a plot to kill British soldiers has been jailed for 22 years.

Brusthom Ziamani, aged 19, converted to Islam and was radicalised in a short space of time in 2014.

Last month, he was convicted of preparing terrorist acts at the Old Bailey in London. Today, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison for that offence.

On 19 August last year, the teen visited his former girlfriend at her home and showed her a bag containing a 12-inch knife and hammer. He told her he intended to kill soldiers and described one of the men who beheaded Lee Rigby as a ‘legend’.

Later that day, he was arrested as he left an address in the east of the city with the rucksack containing these items.




The trial heard that the young man’s extremist views developed rapidly after converting to Islam in April 2014.

In May 2014 he posted “Land of democracy = Evil” and in July 2014 he wrote “Forget the protests, the only way to liberate Muslim lands is Jihad”.

It is understood that he was heavily involved with a London-based proscribed terrorist organisation that “played a major role in influencing and shaping his radical views”, Scotland Yard said.

That group gave him money, clothes and accommodation after his Jehovah’s Witness parents threw him out of their home on discovering his new religion.

Brusthom Ziamani court case Elizabeth Cook Elizabeth Cook

During a raid on his property for a different matter, officers discovered a handwritten letter in a pair of jeans belonging to Ziamani which they say “exposed his extremist mindset”.

One part of the letter stated that due to the situations in Syria and Iraq and because he did not have the means to get to these countries, he would wage war against British government instead.

Other parts of the letter glorified the murder of Lee Rigby and stated that “we should do a 9/11, 7/7 and a Woolwich all in one day.”


The young man admitted to writing the letter and was arrested, bailed and released on strict conditions.

Whilst on bail, officers from the Prevent programme, who support individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism, tried to arrange three meetings but he refused to engage.

On 20 June, Ziamani used his phone to visit websites researching the locations for army cadet bases across London.

Speaking after the conviction, Commander Richard Walton, from the Counter Terrorism Command of the Met Police said the case “starkly illustrates one of the threats we currently face in the UK”.

Ziamani was an impressionable young man who became radicalised then rapidly developed an extremist, violent mindset. Over a series of months he ultimately developed a desire to carry out a terrorist attack on British soldiers.

More: Teen found with 12-inch knife and hammer “rapidly developed an extremist, violent mindset”

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