- Kazi Islam used his friend Harry Thomas to buy ingredients for a bomb
- The Old Bailey heard that Mr Thomas, 19, was 'highly impressionable'
- Islam, then 17, also sent sexually explicit phone messages to women
- Islam referred to the planned bomb in his text messages as 'cake'
A Muslim extremist has been found guilty of trying to mastermind a Lee Rigby-style terror plot by grooming a 'vulnerable' former schoolmate while at the same time sending sexually explicit text messages to young women.
Kazi Islam, from Manor Park, east London sent messages to Harry Thomas, 19, praising Lee Rigby's killers and encouraging him to buy a knife to attack soldiers as well as the ingredients to make an explosive device.
The court heard that Islam, 18, tried to coerce his friend to buy parts for a pipe bomb including fireworks, hydrogen peroxide, pipes, metal end caps and glue.
Kazi Islam, left, tried to groom a young man into buying equipment to make a bomb and to murder a soldier
At the same time, Islam was sending sexually explicit text messages to several young women
Officers raided Islam's home on July 24, 2014 where they found evidence relating to the terrorism plo
At the same time as trying to groom Mr Thomas, Islam was sending highly explicit messages over Blackberry messenger to girls he barely knew, it can be disclosed.
Islam, now 18, is said to have 'ruthlessly exploited' his former classmate Mr Thomas, 19, who had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and suffered from Asperger’s syndrome.
When referring to the bomb components, Islam described them as 'cake', although Mr Thomas misunderstood and asked whether he was talking about the 'b o m b'.
Mr Thomas was not charged with any offence.
Thomas was said to be a 'vulnerable and impressionable young man' who had few friends and was desperate to please Islam.
On December 20 2013, Islam messaged Thomas: 'When I give the order, I want you to kill a soldier…2 soldiers…Not yet though.'
During the same period, Islam also sent a message to a number of young women that it was 'National Shagging Day' and sent one girl a highly explicit message about a sex act, adding, when she turned him down: 'OK you won’t get pregnant though.'
Islam tried to cover up the bomb plot by using the euphemism 'cake' instead of explosives
As he continued a conversation about buying bomb-making chemicals with Thomas, Islam sent another young woman an explicit message about another sex act.
On December 23, Islam was talking to Thomas about buying components for a pipe bomb and messaging another girl about sex with her, referring to his 'sausage.'
Islam left school with no GCSEs and was under the same 'additional learning support assistant' as Thomas at Barking and Dagenham College in East London.
While studying for a BTEC diploma level 1 in information technology, Islam showed the assistant a video of an attack on an army truck by a Muslim suicide bomber.
After leaving college he lived next door to his parents in Manor Park, East London and went to work for a sports memorabilia company called Winning Moves in Paddington, West London,
But he also started attending meetings held by former members of the extremist group al-Muhajiroun and a fundamentalist group called Hizb ut-Tahrir, and to try and leave the country for Syria.
Islam began exploiting Thomas’s vulnerability in October 2013 when Thomas messaged him to say his girlfriend had 'dumped' him.
While pretending to sympathise and chatting about girls, Islam “took the opportunity to quickly twist the conversation towards religion,” Miss Darlow said.
Over many months, Islam 'carefully groomed' Thomas, flattering him when he appeared willing to do his bidding and bullying, threatening and nagging him when he 'didn’t seem to be dancing to Islam’s tune' Annabel Darlow QC told the Old Bailey.
Thomas was a vulnerable, lonely and 'not particularly bright' young man who was desperate to impress Islam and to try to forge some sort of friendship with him, Miss Darlow said.
'Islam ruthlessly exploited to the utmost Thomas’s vulnerability and obvious wish to try and ingratiate himself with Islam,' she added.
'You may think that Mr Islam is a hardened, ruthless and manipulative individual, old beyond his years, who has an uncanny ability to sniff out and make use of the vulnerable in society for his own interests.'
ISLAM'S SEX-PEST TEXTS
Islam wanted Thomas to buy hydrogen peroxide, fireworks from which gunpowder could be extracted, pipes and metal caps, which could be used to assemble a pipe bomb and the high explosive TATP.
'Rather than risk his own neck by going out and trying to assemble the necessary components for a bomb, he tried to exploit others to buy the components for a bomb,' Miss Darlow said.
He then applied 'liberal encouragement' to Thomas to murder a British soldier, inciting and stirring him up with stories about the murder of innocent children by the military forces and referring 'glowingly and approvingly' to the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, Miss Darlow said.
During the same period Islam also sought to radicalise at least three other young people and told one friend he was planning to leave Britain for Syria.
'There can be not the slightest doubt that this is a man who idolised violent conflict against the West,' Miss Darlow said, and that 'you have got to go out and engage in violence to reach the ranks of martyrs.'
Islam raised the subject of the Woolwich attack on December 20 2013, asking Thomas: 'If the war doesn’t stop there should be another killing. Get a meat cleaver or a kitchen knife.
Would you carry out another attack?'
At first Thomas did not understand, then he replied: 'I don’t agree with what Cameron’s doing. I think it’s sick. I would kill a solider coz they’re scum.'
Islam told him: 'Well done Harry, I’m glad you understand mate. I’m proud of you.'
Ill-conceived efforts to get Thomas to refer to use 'cake' as a code for the bomb went over the other man’s head.
'Cake? You mean the b o m b?' Thomas said. 'After we done the ‘b’ r we gonna kll a soldier with a k i f e?'
But Islam’s plans started to go wrong after Thomas began telling his friends.
'Don’t tell anyone you p***k. Are you mental? D’you wanna go to jail. The brothers are gonna come after me and kill me and they’re gonna kill u as well.'
When officers raided Thomas’s home in August last year after arresting Islam they found no incriminating evidence and he was not arrested or charged.
Islam had downloaded a job application form to join the group Cage as an 'event volunteer co-ordinator.'
The group became mired in controversy earlier this year after making excuses for the behaviour of the Islamic State executioner 'Jihadi John.'
The application form was among several documents found on Islam’s computer when his home was raided last August.
An eight-page document downloaded in November 2013 was headed 'How to make Semtex' and included bomb-making instructions.
Another document claimed to be a 'contrary perspective' on the government’s counter-terrorism strategy Prevent, produced by the radical preacher Anjem Choudary.
Islam had allegedly searched for 'suicide bomber video,' and an online magazine called Inspire, which included articles on car bombs and '24/7 terrorism.'
He had also downloaded several pictures of dead fighters, images of the Twin Towers and a picture of Michael Adebolajo, one of the killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich.
Peter Lownds, defending, admitted that Islam had participated in an 'extremely unattractive, cynical and cruel use of this young man.'
But he said his client was a 'lothario' who was 'all mouth and no trousers' and added: 'To put it simply he was a bedroom jihadist with no intention to act.'
Islam told the Old Bailey he was conducting a psychological experiment to see if Thomas would replicate an attack by a convicted terrorist called Nicky Reilly, who tried to blow himself up in a shopping centre in Exeter in 2009.
Kazi Islam has been found guilty of trying to groom a young man with learning difficulties to carry out a Lee Rigby-style terror attack
Asked what he was seeking to achieve, Islam said: 'I want to know if what I said, he would succumb to it and accept it and really do it, if you know what I mean.'
He claimed: 'I didn’t use physical intimidation, I didn’t bully him or anything” but added: “I raise my hands up, I treated him in an unpleasant
way, I was mean and harsh to him. He mistook this experiment as a gesture of friendship.'
Islam was found guilty of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts contrary to section 5(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006, on or before July 17 2014.
He will be sentenced on May 29.
Islam made no reaction as the guilty verdict was read out by the foreman of the jury.
As he was remanded in custody to await sentence, judge Richard Marks warned that a custodial sentence was 'inevitable'.
Anti-terror police from SO15 raided Islam's home on July 24, 2014 and a neighbouring address where they seized several mobile phones and computer devices.
When they forensically examined the machines they found evidence of conversations between Islam and Mr Thomas about the items needed to buy to make a pipe bomb.
According to the Metropolitan Police: 'Officers found that Islam visited websites and downloaded instructions on how to make IEDs.
Commander Richard Walton, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) said: 'Islam groomed and bullied a vulnerable man to try and get him to make a bomb or attack soldiers.
'We were able to intervene early on this occasion and prevent what we believe would have been an act of terrorism in the UK.
'We continue to appeal to anyone who may have knowledge of people with similar intentions. The earliest we can intervene to prevent terrorism the better.
'We also remind the public that there is currently a need to protect vulnerable or impressionable adults or children from this brand of Islamic extremism.'