British Muslim convert who wanted to murder Oxford Street shoppers is jailed

A British-born Muslim convert who plotted the slaughter shoppers outside Oxford Street’s Disney Store said ‘I spit at this country’ in a video he filmed pledging allegiance to ISIS.

Lewis Ludlow, from the upmarket Kent town of Rochester, wanted to launch a terror attack after becoming radicalised and attending rallies organised by hate preacher Anjem Choudary.

The 26-year-old former postman tried to travel to the Philippines last year, where ISIS was attempting to establish a new base, after his contact in Syria was killed.

But his passport was removed to stop him travelling, prompting him to begin planning an attack in Britain.

Ahead of his sentencing today, the court was played a video in which he said: ‘I pledge allegiance to Islamic State and it’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi… I want nothing from Britain and I spit at this country.’ 

British Muslim convert Lewis Ludlow, who plotted a terror attack in the UK after being stopped from travelling to the Philippines, has been jailed

British Muslim convert Lewis Ludlow, who plotted a terror attack in the UK after being stopped from travelling to the Philippines, has been jailed

British Muslim convert Lewis Ludlow, who plotted a terror attack in the UK after being stopped from travelling to the Philippines, has been jailed

Police recovered torn up scraps of a letter Ludlow had written, setting out his plans

Police recovered torn up scraps of a letter Ludlow had written, setting out his plans

Police recovered torn up scraps of a letter Ludlow had written, setting out his plans

Surveillance footage showed Ludlow with the letter in a notebook at an internet cafe

Surveillance footage showed Ludlow with the letter in a notebook at an internet cafe

Surveillance footage showed Ludlow with the letter in a notebook at an internet cafe

An investigation then revealed he was preparing to drive a van into shoppers on Oxford Street or near tourist hotspot Madame Tussauds.

Prosecutor Mark Dawson told an earlier hearing: ‘This was a plot to cause mass fatalities using a vehicle in Oxford Street targeting among other places the Disney store or pedestrians in and around Oxford Street at its busiest times.

‘In one of his notes he talks of causing upwards of 100 fatalities.’

Ludlow was under surveillance when he was observed at an internet cafe on Portland Street in London’s West End on March 16this year where he researched ‘busy shopping centres.’

The computer at the internet cafe revealed that he had also searched for information about a police station on Oxford Street.

Ludlow admitted charges of preparing acts of terrorism and funding terror and was sentenced today.

Chilling photos found on his phone were taken during reconnaissance trips to Oxford Street

Chilling photos found on his phone were taken during reconnaissance trips to Oxford Street

Chilling photos found on his phone were taken during reconnaissance trips to Oxford Street

Convert plotted attack while meeting anti-extremism group 

Ludlow appeared to engage with the Prevent deradicalisation programme, having 16 meetings and a phone call with officers over six months before his arrest last April.

One of the meetings was on the same day Ludlow carried out reconnaissance of targets around the capital, taking photographs of Oxford Street and Madame Tussauds.

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The Prevent programme had attempted to engage with Ludlow since November 2008, when his college had raised concern about his religious beliefs and carrying a knife.

In 2010, Ludlow attended a demonstration led by radical preacher Anjem Choudary and his banned Al-Muhajiroun (ALM) group. He was pictured with the convicted terrorist Trevor Brooks and had secret communication with British Jihadi Junaid Hussain, who was killed in a drone strike in Syria.

Ludlow had cut off contact with Prevent in 2013 before but resumed meetings with officers in November 2017, while keeping his true feelings under wraps. 

On March 21 surveillance teams recovered a number of torn up notes from the bins at Ludlow’s address which suggested that he was actively involved in preparing for a terrorist attack in London using a van.

The notes read: ‘Potential attack sites: Madame Tussads (sic), Oxford street – busiest time between 11 – 12, particularly Fridays – St Paul’s Cathedral.’

He had also listed the addressed for a temples of the rival shia Muslim sect in Forest Gate and Streatham, adding: ‘Further locations scouted for the kil.’

A second note went into detail about his ‘lone wolf’ attack: ‘Crowded London Areas: Oxford Street – long road with no bollards or barriers preventing a van mounting the pavement.

‘Busiest time is between 11am – 12pm with Saturday being the busiest day.

‘Wolf should either use a ram attack or use 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.’

In a video message Ludlow said his allegiance was to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS and added: ‘May his name strike terror into your hearts.’

Ludlow had been sending encrypted messages to an ISIS contact in the Philippines called Abu Yaqeen. He was also in contact with Junaid Hussain, a British ISIS fighter in Syria. Ludlow had first come to the attention of police in 2010 while attending rallies of the banned group known as al-Muhajiroun, led by the radical preacher Anjem Choudary

Ludlow had been sending encrypted messages to an ISIS contact in the Philippines called Abu Yaqeen. He was also in contact with Junaid Hussain, a British ISIS fighter in Syria. Ludlow had first come to the attention of police in 2010 while attending rallies of the banned group known as al-Muhajiroun, led by the radical preacher Anjem Choudary

Ludlow had been sending encrypted messages to an ISIS contact in the Philippines called Abu Yaqeen. He was also in contact with Junaid Hussain, a British ISIS fighter in Syria. Ludlow had first come to the attention of police in 2010 while attending rallies of the banned group known as al-Muhajiroun, led by the radical preacher Anjem Choudary

Police sealed off his house in Rochester, Kent in May after he tried to travel to south-east Asia

Police sealed off his house in Rochester, Kent in May after he tried to travel to south-east Asia

Police sealed off his house in Rochester, Kent in May after he tried to travel to south-east Asia

He went on: ‘I am the Eagle and I pledge allegiance to Dawlatul Islam [ISIS].

‘I have grew up amongst you filthy [word unclear] I learnt your culture, your ways of life and your disgusting debauchery. I reject all of this.

‘I am amongst you as someone who has given dawah [proselytising] for many years and as one who has studied the deen [religion] of Islam.

‘There is nothing between us except animosity and hatred. We love death as much as you love life so therefore, my allegiance is to Islamic State.

‘I have nothing for this country of Britain. I spit on your citizenship, your passport, you can go to hell with that.

‘So be ready, for we too are waiting. Signed off, The Eagle’.’

 

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