Teenager Found Guilty of Planning Terrorist Attack at Justin Bieber Concert
A 17-year-old white British male was arrested and found guilty of planning a terrorist attack to take place at a Justin Bieber concert in Cardiff, England, just a month after a deadly bombing occurred at an Ariana Grande show in Manchester.
According to The Guardian, authorities were tipped off and raided his home on the day of the show (June 30, 2017). They subsequently found a claw hammer and a gutting knife in his backpack and a “martyrdom note” that read, “I am a soldier of the Islamic State. I have attacked Cardiff today because your government keep on bombing targets in Syria and Iraq. There will be more attacks in the future.”
The boy allegedly also wrote a note that included bullet points that said “run down the non-believers with a car” and “strike the infidels who oppose Allah in the neck.”
He was hit with a charge for preparing for an act of terrorism, two charges of encouraging terrorism online and two charges of possessing editions of an Isis propaganda magazine, but he denied them all and told a Birmingham jury he had a “stupid interest in the gory” and had no plan to actually carry out an attack.
“I wanted to see how easy it was for people who had an interest in terrorism to go online and get information because the police and the government are trying to crack down on terrorism and radicalization,” he said. “I wanted to see if it was possible, not for me but from someone else’s point of view.”
The teenager admitted that he was talking to someone named Al-Baghdadi on Instagram for about a week who told him, “Instead of living your life like a good Muslim…basically kill people who don’t believe in Islam, because one day there will be more Muslims than Christians and Muslims, Islam will dominate the world.”
Although the suspect told authorities he “never thought about actually doing it,” his laptop revealed that he started looking up information about Isis a year prior to his arrest and had copies of an Isis propaganda magazine that detailed carry out knife and vehicle attacks.
He also searched things like “17-year-old jihad” and “vehicle mounting pavement — car plows through a crowd.”
Sue Hemming, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said, “This teenager’s behavior over many months leaves no doubt that he intended to kill and maim as many people as possible in an attack reminiscent of the incident on Westminster Bridge. The CPS presented overwhelming evidence that he was prepared to die for [an] extremist worldview and he will now rightly face the prospect of a substantial prison sentence.”
The unidentified teen has not yet been sentenced.