A plot by ISIS terror group to find UK-based recruits to carry out “lone wolf” attacks in Britain this week has been uncovered, a media report said today.
A jihadist recruiter coached an undercover journalist, sending him encrypted messages through the instant messaging app Telegram over the course of two months to launch an attack on a busy area of London on July 25, Sun newspaper reported.
It said the reporter was first ordered by Abu Muslim Khurasani, who has claimed to have been active in terror operations in the UK and the US, to target a major tourist area such as Big Ben or London Bridge, eventually settling on an unnamed major shopping centre in London.
“If u [sic] succeed in doing those places it will be huge. And damaging for them,” the recruiter told him.
He allegedly compared the plan to an attack in French city of Nice earlier this month wherein a terrorist drove a 19-tonne cargo truck into a large crowd, killing 84 people.
“Learn from Nice. Get a car you can park somewhere busy with many people – and a gun you can use at the same time,” he wrote.The messages were said to have been sent on the orders of ISIS’ top recruiter, according to the newspaper.
Khurasani also sent a bomb-making guide, instructing the reporter to obtain readily available materials, including gas canisters and fireworks, in order to construct a car bomb, the paper said.
The paper said it has passed on all the evidence gathered during the investigation to Britain’s anti-terrorism police and MI5 security services.Scotland Yard confirmed that evidence about an alleged terrorist plot has been received.
Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “While the UK threat level from international terrorism remains severe, we would like to reassure the public that we constantly review our security plans, taking into account specific intelligence and the wider threat.”