Manchester

Terror accused 'plotted lone army barracks drone attack'

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Media captionBodycam of raid on terror accused's house

An Islamic State supporter plotted to attack an Army barracks with a modified drone, a court has heard.

Hisham Muhammad, 25, wanted to use the remote-controlled aerial vehicle to drop a projectile or "harmful" device, the Old Bailey was told.

When police raided his house in Bury, Greater Manchester, they found diagrams and materials for the homemade drone attachment, jurors heard.

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

Image copyright Crown Prosecution Service
Image caption Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC said Mr Muhammad had steeped himself in "barbarous" Islamic State propaganda
Image copyright Crown Prosecution Service
Image caption A number of knives were among the suspicious items found in Hisham Muhammad's house

Prosecutors allege he planned to launched a "lone wolf" attack on Castle Armoury Barracks in Bury, which he visited before his arrest last June.

The court heard he planned to attack a military or police target in a drone and knife attack.

Mr Muhammad's home in Victoria Street, Whitefield, was raided by police after landlord Onkar Singh came across several "suspicious" items including knives, a soldering iron and a tub of wires.

Officers found a stash of weapons, including a tomahawk, a machete and bear-claws, jurors heard.

They also found red lollipop sticks attached to an electrical component with black tape and various wires, described in court as a prototype of the drone attachment.

Police also seized two Japanese "ninja eggs" - shells containing crushed chilli seeds and shards of glass.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Hisham Muhammad allegedly wanted to target Castle Armoury Barracks in Bury, Greater Manchester

Mr Muhammad, who is originally from Bermuda and moved to Britain in 2013, had allegedly researched other Army and police bases.

The court heard he made various internet searches for topics including "weak points of the human body for assault", suicide belts and machetes.

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

'Lethal effect'

Ms Whyte said an examination of Mr Muhammad's tablet computer revealed he had watched execution videos and films encouraging attacks in France and Europe.

She told jurors the defendant had intended to commit an act of terrorism and had "plainly considered and researched the use of a drone to drop some sort of harmful device".

"Technical challenges" arising from the plan led him to consider "plans to use knives or other bladed items in order to stab human targets", she said.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Hisham Muhammad's landlord Onkar Singh came across several "suspicious" items including knives, a soldering iron and a tub of wires

The Old Bailey was told he had allegedly helped fund his activities with money from a bogus online escort agency scam.

When arrested, Mr Muhammad denied planning an attack saying he had a "gift from god for making things and liked to innovate".

His cousin Faisal Abu Ahmad, 24, has also pleaded not guilty to failing to alert authorities of the alleged attack plan.

The case continues.

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