Man convicted of plotting attacks against tourist sites and gay pride parade

Mohiussunnath Chowdhury

A Luton man who was cleared of launching a sword attack on police outside Buckingham Palace has been found guilty of plotting a terror attack just months after his release.

Sky News reports that Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, 28, had planned to target iconic tourist sites including Madame Tussauds, Piccadilly Circus and London’s Pride parade, using a vehicle, knife and gun.

He was particularly fixated on the Royal Family and talked about launching an attack during the two minutes’ silence on Remembrance Day.

In December 2018, Chowdhury was unanimously cleared by an Old Bailey jury of a terrorist sword attack near the gates of Buckingham Palace the year before.

Scotland Yard was so concerned by his acquittal that, within a month, they had a four-man undercover team assembled and deployed to check if he was planning another attack.

Those undercover officers managed to win his trust and convince him they were sympathetic to his views, as he began boasting that he had deceived the jury in his first trial by trimming his beard and changing his appearance.

Within days of his release from prison, Chowdhury was again posting extreme comments online and even made a video of himself with a Glock air pistol.

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On 8 January he posted an article on the “excellence of jihad” and on 11 January he posted a picture of the front cover of the ISIS magazine Dabiq.

Five days later, he made inquiries about enrolling on a firearms training course in Dorset.

The undercover officers enticed Chowdhury into disclosing his plans for a second attack, initially by talking loudly about jihad in the chicken shop where he worked.

When the officers arranged to meet at a local mosque on 24 February, Chowdhury told them about his prosecution for the attempted attack at Buckingham Palace.

He told them he had “intended to kill a soldier in the name of jihad” but he had been overpowered by police officers.

Referring to his court case, he told the officers “it was a great feeling to go up against the Queen and win, a great feeling to hear the judge reading excerpts from the Quran that he himself had highlighted.”

Describing his attack on Buckingham Palace, Chowdhury said he was punched unconsciousness and woke up in the back of the police van but added: “If Allah wants to take me down this path again then…”.

In a conversation on 31 March last year, recorded by listening devices in a flat used by the undercover officers, Chowdhury told them he was ready to “go again.”

He told the officers: “I haven’t died yet, you know what I’m saying? I haven’t got shahada [martyrdom] so it’s even harder now subhanallah [praise god] because now I know what my family’s been through.

“I should be in prison for 30 plus years,” he said.

“I told them why I did it. I told them that they are filth, even in their own courts and yet after all that, every single person on the jury, Allah made them say not guilty, yeah, this is the imaan [faith], right.”

He added: “Life is short brothers, what’s scary is not knowing where you’re going to end up. Shahada guarantees you paradise, Allahu Akbar.”

Commander Richard Smith, the head of Scotland Yard’s Counter Terror Command, said: “Mohiussunnath Chowdhury was an extremely dangerous individual.

“He was absolutely committed to causing harm to as many people as he could. I think the evidence we collected through our covert officers and which we put before the court clearly demonstrated his murderous intent.”

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