Ashraf Islam, 31, formerly known as Mark Townley, confessed to police he had “advanced plans” to kill the Prince the day after he was arrested in May. Belfast-born Islam was held the day after Drummer Lee Rigby was murdered in Woolwich, and said the fourth in line to the throne “had blood on his hands” after two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
At a sentencing hearing at Isleworth Crown Court, Lynne Townley, prosecuting, said Islam told an officer he had spent time watching soldiers on Horse Guards Parade “and planned to disarm an officer whilst disguised as a tourist rather than bringing a gun into London”.
After analysing his laptop police discovered a number of internet searches showing Islam had been researching Prince Harry’s protection team, where he lived, his royal engagements and his whereabouts.
A video found on the computer showed him making threats to kill Prince Harry to camera whilst he was in Malaysia.
Sentencing was adjourned until November 1 for an assessment of Islam’s mental health to be carried out.
BALTIMORE — A Maryland man who said he wanted to wage jihad against the United States faces sentencing for plotting to bomb a military recruiting center.
Prosecutors are recommending a 25-year prison term for Antonio Martinez, who is to be sentenced Friday morning in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
Martinez pleaded guilty in January. Prosecutors say he armed a fake bomb in a vehicle he parked in front of a Catonsville recruiting center in December 2010. They say he then went to a vantage point and used what he thought was a detonator when an undercover agent told him soldiers were in the building.
The 22-year-old acknowledged in the plea agreement that he was motivated by what he felt was a war by the United States against Islam.
The 24-year-old Canadian mastermind of an al-Qaida-inspired plot to explode truck bombs in downtown Toronto has issued an abject apology to Canadians.
“I deserve nothing less than your complete contempt,” Mr. Amara told Mr. Justice Bruce Durno as he read an “open letter to Canadians” during his sentencing hearing. He pleaded guilty to terrorism offences last October and is to be sentenced next week.
These were the first public remarks by Mr. Amara, a ringleader of the so-called “Toronto 18” plot, who spent the spring of 2006 trying to procure huge quantities of explosive chemicals in order to build truck bombs. Starting off by quoting the Qur’an, in hindsight, he said his interpretation of Islam was “naïve and gullible,” and that his belief system made worse by the fact he had “isolated himself from the real world.” It wasn’t until he got to prison, he said, that he began to learn tolerance. Mr. Amara, a Sunni Muslim, talked of how he had also befriended a Jewish inmate, and a Shia Muslim, men from two religions he would have viewed with only contempt prior to his incarceration.
Mr. Amara faces life in prison, a punishment which the Crown is requesting. He will get one of the stiffest – if not the stiffest – terrorism sentence imposed since Parliament passed the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
Saad Khalid, 23, who pleaded guilty in the so-called Toronto 18 conspiracy, was credited with seven years for time in pretrial custody. He will spend a maximum of seven more years in prison. Khalid can apply for parole in two years and four months. Justice Bruce Durno called terrorism “the most vile form of criminal conduct” and said while Khalid was not the prime mover behind the bomb plot, he had nonetheless, played a significant role.
Khalid was caught in a police sting on June 2, 2006, when hundreds of police swept across Toronto to round up more than a dozen young Muslim men. He was caught unloading boxes marked “ammonium nitrate” from the back of a truck and later admitted he knew the fertilizer was intended to be used to construct truck bombs to be detonated in the downtown core. He pleaded guilty in May 2009.
Khalid was a target of an RCMP undercover investigation called Project Osage, Canada’s most high-profile counter-terrorism operation since the 9/11 attacks. Eighteen suspects were arrested but charges against seven were eventually stayed. Nine adults are scheduled to go on trial early next year. A fund established to pay for Khalid’s education following his release has raised $63,000.