UK Markets closed

'Extremist' had 'planned to target Madame Tussauds and London pride parade in terror attack'

Will Taylor
News Reporter
Madame Tussauds. (PA Images)

A 28-year-old man accused of preparing acts of terror planned to kill people outside Madame Tussauds and at London’s pride parade in London, a court heard today.

Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, of Kirkwood Road, Luton, was “motivated by dreams of martyrdom for the cause of Islam, and inspired by preachers of hate”, prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC told a jury at Woolwich Crown Court.

Chowdhury was caught after unwittingly confiding his plans to undercover police officers who had placed him under surveillance, the court heard.

“Various potential targets were discussed between the defendant and those he believed to be committed to the same cause and the same forms of violence as himself,” Mr Atkinson said.

“The targets mentioned included Madame Tussauds in London, the gay pride parade and an attack on tourists on a London open-top tour bus.

The 2019 Pride parade in London. (Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)

“The object was to unleash death and suffering on non-Muslim members of the public who happened to be present, using a firearm, sword and even a van as part of an attack.”

Mr Atkinson told the jury Chowdhury had previously been cleared of a terror charge after attacking police officers with a sword outside Buckingham Palace in August 2017.

Two unarmed officers suffered cuts to their hands when they fought to disarm Chowdhury near the palace as he repeatedly shouted “Allahu Akbar”.

He insisted he had been suicidal and was not attacking the officers.

In the lead-up to the incident, he made references on WhatsApp to the “Westminster jihad attacker” Khalid Masood, who killed six people.

He commented on how Masood had been shot by police, how he “stood up to the bastards” and how that was a “good way to go”.

Mr Atkinson said Chowdhury had bragged about “deceiving” the jury which cleared him at that trial.

He told the jury that Chowdhury’s “assertions” to undercover police could be considered as him “indeed trying to carry out a terrorist attack in 2017 and that he had deceived the earlier jury that acquitted him of it”.

Three undercover officers began to earn Chowdhury’s trust in January 2019, and he showed them a replica Glock handgun, the court heard.

Mr Atkinson said: “He told them of his training regime, and sought to involve them in his firearms-related training.

“He told them of what he was wanting and planning to do, and sought to involve them in the carrying out of one or more terrorist attacks.”

Chowdhury is charged with engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, collecting information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, and disseminating terrorist publications.

His sister, Sneha Chowdhury, who lives at the same address, denies two charges of failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism.

Mr Atkinson said she had “better reason than anyone” to understand what her brother wanted to achieve but did nothing to stop him.

The court heard that Chowdhury used his sister’s bank account in March 2019 to order two Red Oak Bokken wooden training swords to their home.

The trial continues.