ISIS fan 'adapted drone with lollipop sticks to carry out lone wolf attack on British soldiers'

10 September 2019, 20:47

Castle Armoury Barracks in Greater Manchester,
Castle Armoury Barracks in Greater Manchester was one of the alleged targets . Picture: Google

By Kate Buck

An ISIS supporter plotted a "lone wolf" attack on the British army using specially adapted drones and Japanese "ninja eggs", a court has heard.

Hisham Muhammad, 25, built prototype drone attachments with lollipop sticks to drop a "harmful device" on his targets, it was claimed.

He also allegedly amassed an arsenal of weapons in the bedroom of his rented home in Whitefield, Bury, including a tomahawk, a machete and bear-claws.

During a raid at the address, officers also seized two painted eggs containing crushed chilli seeds and shards of glass which were described as Japanese "ninja eggs".

The Old Bailey was told he researched police and army bases, including Castle Armoury Barracks in Greater Manchester, which he visited before his arrest last June.

The Bermudan national, who moved to Britain in 2013, had allegedly helped fund his activities with money from a bogus online escort agency scam.

He was caught after his landlord spotted "suspicious" items at the defendant's home including knives, a tub of wires and a soldering iron, the court heard.

He allegedly created a prototype attachment with lollipop sticks
He allegedly created a prototype attachment with lollipop sticks. Picture: PA

Jurors were told his landlord had visited the property after Muhammad and his cousin Faisal Abu Ahmad, 24, had fallen behind with their rent.

Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC said Muhammad had steeped himself in "barbarous" Islamic State propaganda as he planned a "lone wolf" attack in Britain.

An examination of Muhammad's tablet computer revealed an IS video entitled My Revenge had been watched eight times between May 21 and May 30 last year.

Ms Whyte said the video in French justified and encouraged "lone wolf attacks" in France and Europe, and included gruesome footage of executions.

On May 21 last year, he allegedly researched suicide belts, machetes and Victoria train station which had been part of the scene of the Manchester Arena terror attack a year before.

Two days later, Muhammad visited an army recruitment event in Bury town centre and the nearby Castle Armoury Barracks where expressed an interest in joining up, jurors were told.

It was claimed the defendant went on to Google "weak points of the human body for assault" as well as armed police in UK and Manchester.

In a police interview, Muhammad denied planning an attack, saying he had a "gift from god for making things and liked to innovate".

The court heard he had cast doubt that the Manchester Arena bombing and Westminster Bridge attack had happened and questioned whether video of Fusilier Lee Rigby's killing was real.

Muhammad denies engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism.

Abu Ahmad, of the same address, has pleaded not guilty to failing to alert authorities of the alleged attack plan.

The trial continues.