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UK teen plots jihadist attack in London following religious conversion

Metropolitan Police, MET, London, Matthew King

Counterterrorism

UK teen plots jihadist attack in London following religious conversion

A teenager in the United Kingdom plotted jihadist attack in London following religious conversion. According to the Metropolitan Police (MET), Matthew King (19) of Essex was arrested by Counter Terrorism officers as part of a proactive operation in May 2022. Enquiries subsequently found that he had planned an attack targeting police officers and a member of the armed forces. Matthew King had also carried out hostile reconnaissance at several locations over several months and had discussed committing a mass casualty attack on members of the public, targeting Christians, Jews, Hindus and non-Muslims.

According to Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, “It was not clear when or where Matthew King intended to carry out his attack, but he had conducted a significant amount of hostile reconnaissance.

“In online conversations, he talked about committing an indiscriminate attack on the public. Disturbingly, he also spoke about targeting police officers and army personnel.

“Concerns about King’s mind-set were reported to police, and it was those reports that led to King being investigated and his attack planning being discovered.

“This is another case which shows how the round-the-clock efforts of police, with our partners, are keeping the public safe from very real threats.

“It also shows how important it is for the public to report anyone they think may be vulnerable to radicalization, or already on that path”.

An investigation into King was launched in April 2022 after information was received about concerns over his extreme Islamist mind-set. Further enquiries were carried out and King was arrested at an address in Essex on May 18, 2022.

While he was held in custody, officers conducted fast-time enquiries and found evidence on his devices of his extremist beliefs, hostile reconnaissance he had carried out at various locations, and conversations about attack planning.

He had visited and filmed a London barracks and a police station, as well as recording officers at train stations, and outside a criminal court.

Enquiries found that he had taken steps to obtain a knife online, and he also planned to travel abroad to join Daesh (Islamic State).

Matthew King was charged with preparation of terrorist acts, contrary to Section 5(1)(a) of the Terrorism Act (TACT) 2006 on May 31, 2022.

Matthew King appeared at the Old Bailey on January 20, 2023 and pleaded guilty to preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2000). He will be sentenced on April 14 at the same court.

Following the arrest of Matthew King and his confession about plotting jihadist attacks in London and joining Islamic State (ISIS), it may be now asked – how many more “Kings” might already have been converted into Islam and brainwashed by the radical Muslim clerics. As I have been regularly writing about the threats posed by radical Islam and radicalization of UK Muslims, as well as mosques and so-called Islamic centers in London and other parts of the United Kingdom being used as breeding grounds of jihadists, it is an urgent task for the UK intelligence and law enforcement agencies to immediately initiate investigation into those mosques and Islamic centers and – closely monitor activities of UK Muslims, especially those immigrants.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow him on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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