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Teen admits plotting bomb attack at Elton John concert

The 19-year-old was planning an attack to mark the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy.

Elton John
Elton John
Image: Dennis Van Tine/Geisler-Fotopres/DPA/PA Images

A RADICAL ISLAMIST has admitted plotting a bomb attack in London, with possible targets including an Elton John concert and the city’s main shopping street.

Haroon Syed (19) from west London, considered targets such as the Oxford Street main shopping thoroughfare or John’s concert in Hyde Park on 11 September last year, the 15th anniversary of the attacks on the United States.

However, he was snared by secret service agents and faces jail after admitting that he was preparing terrorist acts.

“Syed admitted trying to get a machine gun, handguns, suicide vest and bomb,” London’s Metropolitan Police said following his guilty plea.

“When he couldn’t raise any finance through loan applications, settled on trying to source a bomb, with a special request for it to be packed with nails so he could detonate it in a crowded place.”

England’s Old Bailey central criminal court heard how Syed tried to get weapons online.

He told his Security Service fake contact that he needed a machine gun and an explosive vest “so after some damage with machine gun do martyrdom … that’s what I’m planning to do.

“You have to find out the price for the machine gun, any gun.”

On 30 August 2016, he said: “I might put the bomb in the train and then I’m going to jump out so the bomb explodes on the train.”

He arranged to buy a custom-made bomb and asked his contact to make sure it contained lots of nails.

“I was thinking of Oxford Street … If I go to prison, I go to prison. If I die, I die, you understand,” he said.

His search for potential locations included the John concert.

‘Groomed by radicals online’

When he was arrested on 8 September, he told police his phone password was ISIS, an acronym for the Islamic State jihadist group.

His defence statement said he was groomed by radicals online but he never intended to carry out an attack. His chats with the agent were merely a “fantasy to see how far it would go”, the statement claimed.

Syed pleaded guilty after failing to get the case thrown out and failing to exclude the key evidence from the online chat.

His lawyer said the state should have channelled Syed through the government’s de-radicalisation programme rather than allow him to continue on the path he was on.

As Syed was being drawn in by agents, his IS-inspired older brother Nadir (23) was jailed for plotting to carry out a beheading around Remembrance Sunday, when Britain pays tribute to its veterans and war dead.

Judge Michael Topolski will sentence Haroon Syed on 8 June.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. 

© AFP 2017

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