Ter­ror at­tack planned on day of Bieber con­cert

Irish Examiner - - World News - Matthew Cooper

A 17-year-old ac­cused of planning an Is­lamic Statein­spired ter­ror at­tack on the day of a Justin Bieber con­cert searched on­line for de­tails of the event’s se­cu­rity, a court has heard.

The youth, who can­not be named be­cause of his age, was de­tained at his home in south Wales by po­lice who found a claw ham­mer, a kitchen knife, and a “mar­tyr­dom let­ter” in his school ruck­sack.

Prose­cu­tors al­lege the boy was en­gaged in con­duct to pre­pare for an act of ter­ror­ism in the run-up to the con­cert on June 30 by con­duct­ing on­line re­search, ob­tain­ing weapons, and pre­par­ing a sui­cide note.

Open­ing the case against the teenager, who de­nies pre­par­ing to com­mit acts of ter­ror­ism and four other ter- ror charges, pros­e­cu­tor Matthew Brook said a copy of a poster re­lat­ing to the con­cert was found on the de­fen­dant’s com­puter.

Tak­ing the jury through web searches con­ducted by the boy on June 28, Mr Brook told Birm­ing­ham Crown Court: “At 10.10pm there is this de­fen­dant search­ing ‘Justin Bieber Cardiff 2017’.

“As you are prob­a­bly all aware, Justin Bieber is a well-known pop star and he was hav­ing a large con­cert in Cardiff on June 30, two days af­ter this search.”

On June 29, the court heard, a me­dia file was cre­ated on the de­fen­dant’s com­puter show­ing a poster for the con­cert at Cardiff’s Prin­ci­pal­ity Sta­dium.

Ju­rors were told the al­leged ter­ror­ist also searched for “Justin Bieber Cardiff se­cu­rity” on June 29.

Mr Brook said of the search: “This de­fen­dant is in­ter­ested in what the se­cu­rity will be for a large pub­lic event the fol­low­ing day.

“This is in con­text of course of all his searches, his threats on In­sta­gram about Cardiff be­ing at­tacked on the 30th, the knife and ham­mer in his bag, and of course the mar­tyr­dom let­ter as well.”

The court heard the boy de­clared him­self a “soldier” of the so-called Is­lamic State in the hand-writ­ten let­ter.

It is also al­leged that he penned a note with bul­let points in­clud­ing “run down the non-be­liev­ers with a car” and “strike the in­fi­dels, who op­pose Al­lah, in the neck”.

Mr Brook said a note found in the boy’s bed­room read: “I am a soldier of the Is­lamic State. I have at­tacked Cardiff today be­cause your gov­ern­ment keep on bomb­ing tar­gets in Syria and Iraq. There will be more at­tacks in the fu­ture.”

The de­fen­dant, from the Rhondda Cynon Taf area of south Wales, de­nies two counts of en­cour­ag­ing ter­ror­ism by post­ing images on In­sta­gram and two counts of pos­ses­sion of a record of ter­ror­ist in­for­ma­tion, namely an IS pro­pa­ganda mag­a­zine.

The youth, from a white Bri­tish back­ground, was de­tained by po­lice on June 30.

The trial con­tin­ues.

Justin Bieber was per­form­ing at the Prin­ci­pal­ity Sta­dium, Cardiff, on June 30.

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