Teen Gets 22 Years For Plot To Behead Soldier

Brusthom Ziamani, 19, stands impassively in the dock as a judge jails him for planning to copy the killing of soldier Lee Rigby.

Brusthom Ziamani was an 'impressionable young man', the Metropolitan Police said

Brusthom Ziamani was ‘groomed’ by older men, his lawyer said

A teenager has been jailed for 22 years for hatching a plot to behead a British soldier inspired by the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.

Brusthom Ziamani, 19, stood impassively in the dock as the sentence was handed down at the Old Bailey.

He was arrested in an east London street carrying a 12in knife and a hammer in a rucksack.

He had earlier researched the location of army cadet bases in the south east of the capital.

The court was told how he had earlier shown his ex-girlfriend weapons, described Fusilier Rigby’s killer Michael Adebolajo as a “legend”.

He told his girlfriend he would “kill soldiers”.

The defendant was radicalised after being befriended by members of a radical Muslim organisation which held meetings in London.

Ziamani was found guilty last month of preparing an act of terrorism and was sentenced by Judge Timothy Pontius.

Judge Pontius said: “A realistic and sensible assessment of the whole of the evidence leads inescapably to the conclusion that this defendant, had he not by sheer good fortune been spotted and stopped by the police on the street in east London, would have carried out the intention he had so graphically expressed to his ex-girlfriend just a few hours before.”

The judge told Ziamani that he would have to serve at least two-thirds of his 22-year sentence before being eligible for parole.

Earlier, in mitigation, Ziamani’s lawyer, Naeem Mian, said his client was not an “entrenched extremist”.

Mr Mian said Ziamani was a young man who while destitute had been groomed by people who were “more sophisticated and mature” than him.

He said: “It is worrying to say the least that those who groomed him are able to groom and radicalise a young man in such a short period of time.

“On any view it is a tragic case because this young man will spend a long time in custody after which he will inevitably be unemployable.

“His foolish, naive acts have resulted in him throwing his life away at his tender age.

“He has nothing to look forward to now. The only glimmer of hope he has is the fact his parents – in particular his mother – has been to see him a number of times since his conviction.

“They are still not comfortable with the fact he has converted to Islam. As you would expect of caring and loving parents, they have been to see him.”

The trial was told how Ziamani had “reverted” to Islam only last year and was kicked out of home in Camberwell, south London, by his parents.

Ziamani was born in London to Congolese parents. His mother worked as a nursery nurse and his father was a psychiatric nurse.

He said he first became interested in Islam at the age of 15 through rap music and decided to convert again in the months before his arrests.

He initially turned to his local mosque for support before he fell in with the Muslim group al-Muhajiroun – or ALM.

The group gave him money, clothes and a place to stay.

He attended their talks in the basement of a halal sweet shop in Whitechapel and bought a black flag to take on their demonstrations.

He said he was going “to rock it everywhere I go in the Kaffirs’ face”.

The court was told how he posted comments on Facebook that he was “willing to die in the cause of Allah”.

He added: “Sharia law on its way on our streets. We will implement it, it’s part of our religion.”

At the time he was first arrested last June on an unrelated matter, police found a ripped-up letter in his jeans pocket.

In the letter he wrote about mounting an attack on a British soldier and expressed the desire to die a martyr.

But Ziamani denied he was planning a copycat terror atrocity like the murder of Fusilier Rigby.

On the letter, he said: “I was ranting and raging about the situation in Muslim countries which was described in these talks. I did not believe it at all.”

http://news.sky.com/story/1449106/teen-gets-22-years-for-plot-to-behead-soldier

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