Fanatic Plotted Attacks on British Military Base in Bury with Knives & Drones

An alleged fanatic accused of plotting an attack on the British military with knives and drones searched online for jihadist literature, nearby army bases, and “weak points in the human body”, a court has heard.

Hisham Muhammad had allegedly amassed a stash of weapons and identified a possible target at Castle Armoury, a territorial army base in Bury, Greater Manchester, jurors at the Old Bailey were told.

By May 2018, the accused Islamic State supporter had allegedly decided to commit a “lone wolf attack” in the United Kingdom.

His trial heard on Tuesday he had made dozens of internet searches between April and May, including for “armed police Manchester”, “suicide belt” and “pressure cooker”.

Prosecutor Emma Gargitter told the court the 25-year-old made a series of “no comment” police interviews over search terms including “military base near me”, “Glock 19”, “weak points in the human body” and for Islamic State and Al-Shabaab literature and videos.

Other searches on his tablet device included “traffic police UK” and for machetes, Samurai swords, stainless steel nuts and bolts, potassium nitrate, and aluminium oxide, the court heard.

In a prepared statement given to police in June, Muhammad had said: “I have no intention to die or kill someone. Islam prohibits one from committing suicide.”

He also said some of the searches were for “research purposes” and added in another police statement: “I’m not a terrorist. It’s not illegal to watch such videos.”

The prosecution allege Muhammad had also “researched how small drones might be adapted to drop some sort of device designed to harm others” as well as studying “how to use knives to lethal effect”.

The Bermudan national, of Victoria Avenue, Whitefield, Manchester, denies engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism.

His cousin Faisal Ahmad, 24, of the same address, has pleaded not guilty to failing to alert authorities of the alleged attack plan.