British man arrested on his way to behead soldier, court hears

Brusthom Ziamani (19) was apprehended in east London with knife and hammer in bag

File court artist sketch   of Brusthom Ziamani, appearing via video link at the Old Bailey in London. The court heard how the teenager  idolised the killers of fusilier Lee Rigby and was arrested while allegedly on his way to behead a British soldier. Picture: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire

File court artist sketch of Brusthom Ziamani, appearing via video link at the Old Bailey in London. The court heard how the teenager idolised the killers of fusilier Lee Rigby and was arrested while allegedly on his way to behead a British soldier. Picture: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire

 

A British Muslim who idolised the killers of fusilier Lee Rigby was arrested as he made his way to behead a British soldier, a court heard.

Brusthom Ziamani (19) was arrested on a street in east London in August carrying a 12-inch knife and a hammer in a rucksack, having earlier researched the location of army cadet bases in the southeast of the city, the Old Bailey heard.

Mr Ziamani had “reverted” to Islam early in 2014 and his August arrest came after he showed his ex-girlfriend the weapons, while describing Lee Rigby’s killer Michael Adebolajo as a “legend” and telling her he would “kill soldiers”, prosecutor Annabel Darlow said.

The jury heard he also put posts on Facebook under the name Mujahid Karim supporting Sharia law and stating he was “willing to die in the cause of Allah”.

Ms Darlow said: “He didn’t say anything when he was arrested on that particular occasion but he was remanded and told a security officer that he had been on his way to kill a British soldier at an army barracks when he had been arrested.

“He said that he was going to behead the soldier and hold that soldier’s head up in the air so that a friend could take a photograph with the severed head of the soldier.

Mr Ziamani, of Camberwell, south London, denies a charge of preparing an act of terrorism on or before August 20th, 2014.

‘Military targets’

The court heard on June 20th, 2014 he had Googled “Camberwell army cadets” and looked at the website of the London Irish Rifles Association. He had also researched cadets in Lewisham and looked at details of cadet forces in Blackheath.

Ms Darlow added: “These were all military targets which would reflect the defendant’s stated intention to wage war on the British government and to further his ambition of carrying out attacks like those on Lee Rigby in Woolwich.”

Mr Ziamani had told police after being arrested in June 2014 he looked up to radical preachers including Abu Hamza and Anjem Choudary but denied he was planning an attack. He was later released on bail and spoken to in July 2014 by anti-radicalisation officers.

Extremist material

The court heard Mr Ziamani continued to post extremist material on Facebook, including a photo of six severed heads, the court heard. He also wrote about waging war on the “kuffar” and that “it is a shame Hitler never finished his job”.

He also wrote: “You can sit at home and play Call of Duty or you can come out here and respond to the real call of duty - the choice is yours.”

The court heard he also researched the murder of Lee Rigby, reading news articles about the attack and Adebolajo.

Mr Ziamani got back in touch with his ex-girlfriend on August 16th, 2014. The court heard he sent her messages and made several visits over the next few days, telling her: “If I leave this world I don’t want any hatred to be left between us.”

The prosecution alleges that on August 19th, 2014 he arrived at her home at 7am, telling her: “Me and the brothers are planning a terrorist attack.”

She asked Mr Ziamani if he meant a bomb and he reportedly told her: “No, not like that, basically to kill soldiers.”

Mr Ziamani was arrested in Settles Street in east London later that day and charged.

The case continues.

PA