A teenage Muslim convert who idolised Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, killers of British soldier Lee Rigby, has been found guilty of planning his own attack on members of the British military.
Brustholm Ziamani has been remanded in custody at the Old Bailey, and will be sentenced on 20 March.
According to a Sky news report, the 19-year-old was arrested by counter-terrorism officers on 19 August last year, carrying a rucksack containing a 12-inch knife, a large hammer and an Islamic flag.
He later told a security officer at Wandsworth Prison in London that he had been on his way to “behead a British soldier at an army barracks and hold the severed head in the air” when he was arrested.
Ziamani, from Camberwell, southeast London, had been on police bail at the time he was stopped with the weapons, having been held almost two months earlier for posting extremist messages on Facebook.
At the time of his first arrest, on 27 June, officers searched his belongings and found a letter he had written to his parents.
He told his parents of his intention to fight jihad and wage war against the British Government.
It read: “You want war, you got it. British soldiers heads will be removed and burned. U cannot defeat the Muslims, we love to die the way you love to live.”
The Old Bailey heard how Ziamani had been brought up as a strict Jehovah’s Witness.
He converted to Islam at 15, but did not practise the religion until March last year when he began attending his local mosque and associating with a group of radical Muslims led by the preacher Anjem Choudary.
The court was told that his parents threw him out of the house when they learned of his conversion to Islam.
He became increasingly extreme in the messages he was posting online, condemning Jews and other non-believers, demanding Sharia law and calling on others to fight jihad.
He also wrote of his admiration for Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale.
Forensic examination of his mobile phone also discovered that he had searched online for information on army cadet and other military bases in his local area.