LONDON (Reuters) - A delivery driver was convicted on Friday of plotting to kill U.S. troops based in England by staging road accidents with soldiers’ cars and then attacking them with knives and possibly a home-made bomb.
Junead Khan, 25, a supporter of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group, was found guilty of preparing terrorist acts. He and his uncle Shazib Khan, 23, were also convicted of planning to join IS in Syria.
Kingston Crown Court southwest of London had heard that Junead Khan had been visited four times by police trying to divert him from extremism but he had rejected their offers of help.
Eventually he was arrested and searches of various addresses revealed evidence of what police said in a statement painted an alarming picture of his plans to attack U.S. soldiers based in Britain.
“Specifically, he intended to stage a road accident to draw soldiers out of their car, before attacking them with knives and potentially detonating a home-made bomb,” the statement said.
In one message to a suspected accomplice in Syria, Khan told how he had missed an opportunity to kill Americans on his rounds in Bedfordshire, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire in central and eastern England.
“When I saw these U.S. soldiers on the road it just looked simple but I had nothing on me or would’ve got into an accident with them and made them get out the car,” he wrote.
Police said they recovered British and U.S. flags stolen from a diner near Khan’s home in Luton, north of London, which they believe were potentially to be used for a symbolic act during the attack.
The two men are due to be sentenced on May 13.
Reporting by Stephen Addison; editing by Paul Sandle