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British Muslim convert admits plotting ISIS attack in London

Press Trust of India  |  London 

A British Muslim convert has pleaded guilty to plotting an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack on targets in London, including the city's shopping hub of Oxford Street and wax museum.

admitted to swearing allegiance to Islamic State (ISIS) terror group and preparing to drive a van through major targets in the British capital at the in

"At its highest it is a plot to cause mass fatalities using a vehicle in Oxford Street, targeting the amongst other places, at its busiest time," told the court.

Using a false name, the 26-year-old bought a mobile phone and wrote down his plans to carry out an attack in notes later found by counter-terrorism officers torn up in pieces in a bin.

He picked out Oxford Street as an "ideal target" and wrote: "It is expected nearly 100 could be killed in the attack".

Ludlow, a with from Kent near London, planned an attack after being stopped by police at in February as he tried to board a flight to the

He was arrested by counter-terrorism police on April 18 and at an initial court appearance refused to stand, telling the he could only stand for Allah.

"Ludlow had gone as far as writing out attack plans and conducting reconnaissance of potential targets. I have no doubt that the public will be much safer as a result of our actions," said Kath Barnes, policing in the southeast.

He was due to go on trial later this year on two charges of preparing acts of terrorism and one of terror funding but he pleaded guilty to plotting an attack in the UK and funding abroad at the hearing yesterday.

He appeared via a video link from the high-security and pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism and raising funds for terrorism. He will be sentenced on November 2.

Ludlow, who called himself the Eagle, is alleged to have set up a account called Collections as a front to send money to to fund terrorism.

The (CPS) said Ludlow first came to the attention of police in 2010 when he attended a demonstration led by and his banned Al-Muhajiroun (ALM) group.

He was arrested in 2015 and material was recovered from his but police took no further action.

In January, he bought a ticket to fly to the and was stopped at the airport and his passport was seized. He told police he was going to the country as a sex tourist.

But officers searching his home found he was in communication with a man named in an area with a major presence.

Detectives also retrieved Ludlow's mobile phone from a storm drain on 13 April and discovered videos of the defendant swearing allegiance to ISIS and pictures of crowded areas, said to be evidence of "hostile reconnaissance".

In a video message Ludlow said his allegiance was to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the of ISIS and said, "May his name strike terror into your hearts".

"I am and I pledge allegiance to Dawlatul Islam [ISIS]," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, August 11 2018. 14:45 IST