A 21-year-old terrorist has admitted he made an attempt to purchase a gun to kill an ex-Muslim who became a Christian preacher at Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park.
It was alleged that Edward Little planned to buy a gun to kill Hatun Tash, 40, and her camera crew at the public speaking area as well as any police or soldiers in the area at the time.
He was on his way into London in a taxi with thousands of pounds in cash when he was stopped and arrested on September 23 last year.
Little first declined to answer police interview questions, but after being shown a YouTube video of the preacher he launched himself across the table at an officer and swung at him with his fists before being restrained.
Earlier this year, he denied preparing to commit acts of terrorism but changed his plea and admitted the charge on Friday at the Old Bailey.
Little, from Pelham Street, Brighton, appeared at the Old Bailey today via video link from HMP Belmarsh wearing a grey tracksuit and admitted preparation to commit acts of terrorism.
The prosecution has asserted Little researched targets including Christian preacher Hatun Tash, military figures, and members of the Metropolitan Police.
But defence lawyer Tom Godfrey said Little only accepted targeting the preacher.
Ms Tash was arrested twice for breaching the peace when she reported harassment and threats by Islamic demonstrators to the Met Police. She has since been paid £10,000 in damages.
Ms Tash regularly attended Hyde Park to debate Islam and Christianity with demonstrators.
Last year, she alleged that she was stabbed in the face by an unknown man dressed in black while she was in Speakers’ Corner.
As part of his preparations Little had looked up different guns and their capabilities and arranged to buy one for £5,000.
As he set off on September 23 last year, Little agreed to pay the taxi driver £300 to take him to Lewisham, south London, saying money was no problem.
He asked to stop at a mosque to pray but said he would do it in the cab after being told there was none on route.
When arrested, he was carrying a rucksack with £5,000 in cash, a passport and two mobile phones.
Police later found an encrypted chat on one phone, setting out his attack plan and the gun purchase.
Going by the online name of ‘Abdullah’, Little was also said to have exchanged chat about religion, Iraq and ‘kuffar’.
Little declined to answer questions in police interviews but his mood changed when he was shown a YouTube view of the preacher, Ms Tash.
He launched himself from his chair across the table at an officer, swinging repeatedly with his fists before being restrained.
He went on to admit assaulting the officer at Newbury Police Station last September 28 and was sentenced to 40 weeks in prison.
The sentence was reduced on appeal for eight months in prison.
Mr Justice Baker adjourned sentencing until July 21 and remanded Little into custody.