Uber driver with ‘dreams of martyrdom’ who plotted gun and knife terror attacks at Madame Tussauds, gay Pride and on a London sightseeing bus is jailed for life with minimum term of 25 years
- Mohiussunnath Chowdhury plotted gun and knife attacks on popular attractions
- He targeted Madame Tussauds, gay Pride parade and open-top sightseeing bus
- The 29-year-old former Uber driver from Luton had been ‘dreams of martyrdom’
- He was nicked days before Pride in 2019 after revealing plan to undercover cops
- He was caged for life with minimum of 25 years at Woolwich Crown Court today
Mohiussunnath Chowdhury planned to target popular attractions, including Madame Tussauds, gay Pride parade and an open-top sightseeing bus, using a gun, knife and van
A jihadist who plotted a gun and knife rampage at busy London tourist sites has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 25 years.
Mohiussunnath Chowdhury planned to target popular attractions, including Madame Tussauds, the gay Pride parade and an open-top sightseeing bus, using a gun, knife and van, last year.
The 29-year-old former Uber driver from Luton, who was said to be driven by ‘dreams of martyrdom’, was arrested three days before the Pride parade in summer 2019 after he unknowingly revealed his plans to undercover police officers.
Chowdhury bragged to them about deceiving a jury which cleared him of a sword attack on police outside Buckingham Palace at a previous trial at the Old Bailey in December 2018.
But the jury at a separate subsequent trial found him guilty of terror offences in February, little more than a year later. Chowdhury was handed the life sentence at Woolwich Crown Court on Thursday.
Appearing in court wearing a grey tracksuit and face mask, he was sentenced for convictions of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, collecting information likely to be useful to someone preparing an act of terrorism and disseminating terrorist publications.
Pictured is a Metropolitan Police handout of a knife, shown at Woolwich Crown Court, relating to the trial of Mohiussunnath Chowdhury
A handout photo from the Metropolitan Police shows the wooden swords he used for training
One of the images Chowdhury had drawn is shown above. It is a cartoon of a terrorist shooting a police officer
Four covert officers, posing as like-minded extremists, befriended and monitored Chowdhury after he was freed from HMP Belmarsh when jurors cleared him in December 2018 of slashing police with a sword outside the Queen’s London home while shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’.
Within a week of his release he had begun posting extremist messages online.
Over the course of a five-month surveillance operation detectives gathered crucial information about Chowdhury’s mindset and plans after winning his trust.
Chowdhury’s subsequent trial at Woolwich Crown Court heard that the ex-chicken shop worker prepared for his potential attack by lifting weights, practising stabbing, rehearsing beheading techniques as well as booking shooting range training and trying to acquire a real gun.
Sneha Chowdhury (left) who has been convicted of one count of failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism and cleared of another count of the same charge. Mohiussunnath Chowdhury said he ‘learnt a lot’ from Streatham attacker Sudesh Amman (right)
Artists impression of Mohiussunnath Chowdhury appearing at at Woolwich Crown Court. on January 21, 2020
The trial heard that he had a document on his phone titled ‘guidance for doing just terror operations’ which included instructions on how to kill people with knives.
At the sentencing hearing on Thursday, prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC argued that Chowdhury should received a life sentence as a pre-sentence report showed he posed a ‘significant risk to the public’ of causing ‘serious harm’ through potential future offending.
He suggested the evidence showed there had been a risk of ‘an imminent attack’ that had been intended to involve ‘multiple deaths’.
But defence lawyer Simon Csoka QC suggested Chowdhury’s behaviour had been a ‘delayed teenage phase’, arguing that he had done ‘very little beyond talking’ about potential attacks on ‘hypothetical targets’.
Handout file photo photo issued by Metropolitan Police of a handwritten note, shown at Woolwich Crown Court, relating to the trial of Sneha Chowdhury and Mohiussunnath Chowdhury
CCTV imagery above shows Chowdhury purchasing items for the attack in a local supermarket
A police image of the sword used during the incident outside Buckingham Palace in London is pictured above
He suggested that Chowdhury had displayed a ‘cooling off’ in his interactions with undercover officers, and highlighted he had not taken up their offers of opportunities in support of an attack.
Chowdhury’s defence barrister previously argued that the university drop-out was a ‘pathetic little man’ and an ‘attention-seeker’ who ‘talks and talks, but doesn’t do’.
But prosecutors argued at trial that Chowdhury desired to ‘unleash death and suffering’ on non-Muslims after being influenced by sermons from preachers like al Qaida’s Anwar Al-Awlaki.
Chowdhury told one undercover officer he was free to attack one million unbelievers if he was fighting for ‘the pleasure of Allah’ and stressed the importance of an ‘ambush’, saying: ‘They shouldn’t know what hit them.’
His sister Sneha Chowdhury, 26, who was convicted of one count of failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism, is yet to be sentenced.
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