Lewis Ludlow, 26, swore allegiance to ISIS as he prepared a terror attack in which Elena he would drive a van through London’s shopping district or Madame Tussauds.
It was alleged he also set up a Facebook account called Antique Collections as a front to send money to south-east Asia for terrorism. Between March 15 and April 19, he bought a phone under a false name and wrote down his attack plans – which were later found ripped up in a bin. Ludlow, from Rochester, in Kent, formulated his plan after being stopped by police at Heathrow airport in February as he attempted to board a flight to the Philippines.
The defendant was due to face trial in the autumn on two charges of preparing acts of terrorism and one of terror funding. He also researched potential targets around the capital, van rental, and hotel accommodation. He identified Oxford Street as an “ideal” target, writing: “It is expected nearly 100 could be killed in the attack”.Prosecutor Mark Heywood QC said it would not be in the public interest to pursue a trial on a charge of attempting to join IS in the Philippines which the defendant denied. That charge will lie on the court file.
According to a prosecution summary, Ludlow first came to the attention of police in 2010 when he attended a demonstration led by radical preach Anjem
In March, Ludlow sent him money via PayPal and created the Facebook account Antique Collections.
On March 21, police recovered torn up scraps of papers from Ludlow’s bin detailing his plans.
They were pieced together to reveal “potential attack sites” including “Madame Tussauds”, “Oxford Street – busiest time…”, “St Paul’s Cathedral” and a ‘”Shia temple in Romford”.
Deb Walsh, from the CPS, said: “Lewis Ludlow considers himself a soldier fighting for [ISIS] in the UK.
“To that end, he planned to drive a van into shoppers at Oxford Street hoping to kill over a hundred people.
“He also set up a fake online antique business as a front to send money to terrorists overseas.
“He is a serious danger to the public and accepted his guilt when faced with the prosecution’s case against him.”