A British-born Muslim convert said ‘I spit at Britain’ in an ISIS (Islamic State) allegiance video as he plotted to slaughter British shoppers in a ‘ramming attack’ outside Oxford Street’s Disney store. Lewis Ludlow, a former Royal Mail worker from the upmarket Kent town of Rochester, became radicalized after ‘converting to Islam’ (converts often become the most violent of Muslims) and attending the anti-British military poppy-burning rallies of convicted Muslim hate preacher Anjem Choudary.
Daily Mail (h/t TerryD) The 27-year-old convert then tried to join a new ISIS group in the Philippines, but was stopped from traveling and so began hatching plans for an attack in London. He plotted a vehicle attack on Oxford Street or Madame Tussauds while, at the same time, meeting officials from the deradicalization programme -Prevent.
The convert had been offered three different courses of deradicalisation since he first came to the group’s attention in 2008, but repeatedly failed to show up.
Investigators then found a torn-up letter setting out his vehicle attack plot, and 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.
In case you couldn’t understand his muffled voice in the video, this is what he said:
An investigation 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.’
He wrote notes on his planned attack, including: ‘Long road with no bollards or barriers preventing a van mounting the pavement.’ Ludlow admitted charges of preparing acts of terrorism and funding terror and was sentenced today.
He was once attracted to the far-Right and expressed admiration for Hitler – but turned to Islam after his aunt was ill and soon became radicalized by Muslims.
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.’
On April 13 last year, Ludlow’s mobile phone was retrieved from a storm drain and found to have videos of the defendant swearing allegiance to IS and evidence of ‘hostile reconnaissance’.
The court heard today that, in June 2015, Ludlow had discussed with Hussain doing something before traveling abroad and mentioned his job at Royal Mail. He wrote: ‘At my job at a Royal Mail warehouse we had a book that mentions how staff look out for suspicious items like bombs.
‘I’m thinking should I find this info out more as Royal Mail rarely check items. It is perfect to send something lethal through.’ Hussain told him it was a ‘good idea’ and Ludlow promised to ‘look into it’.