United Kingdom: An Islamic State (IS) supporter has claimed an IS militant based in the Philippines “bullied” him into mounting a terror plot targeting shoppers on Oxford Street in London, The Independent reported.
Lewis Ludlow, 27, admitted to preparing acts of terrorism after police prevented him travelling to an IS stronghold in the Philippines and seized his passport.
He told the Old Bailey that he felt “bitter” and “heartbroken” when his first plan was thwarted, adding: “I felt that I was trapped like an animal unable to escape its cage.”
The Muslim convert, from Rochester in Kent, researched potential targets around London and wrote down plans before his arrest last April.
Ludlow, who called himself the Ghost and Eagle, also recorded a pledge of allegiance to Isis saying he had nothing but “animosity and hatred” towards Britain.
Ludlow said he wanted to travel to the Philippines in February 2018 to find a wife and start a “new life” but kept his plans a secret from a Prevent mentor.
He told the court that after telling an IS member in the Philippines that he would not be travelling, the man asked him to send money to pay for ammunition and medical supplies.
Ludlow claimed the militant known as “Abu Yaqeen” then talked him into carrying out an attack in the UK targeting a busy shopping centre.
“On this plot, it was a bit like wheeling in very slowly. I thought to myself, I don’t think he will try to make me do something stupid like try to harm someone,” he told the court on Friday.
“I was being pressured by him. He bullied me. He questioned me being Muslim and my love of Muslims.”
Later, Yaqeen told him he had to “kill” people during a chat on an encrypted app, he said.