Man guilty of plotting Oxford Street truck attack

|News, Terrorism

Following a joint police and MI5 investigation, a Muslim convert who plotted a terror attack in central London aiming to kill more than 100 people has pleaded guilty to terror offences at the Old Bailey today (10 August).

Lewis Ludlow, 26, planned to hire a van and drive it into pedestrians on the pavement in Oxford Street at the busiest time of the week.

He had also considered attacking Madame Tussaud’s and St Paul’s Cathedral. When he was arrested in April, Ludlow was under 24 hour armed police surveillance.

A mobile phone belonging to Ludlow was found in the storm drain of his home and contained photographs he had taken in March on a trip to London.

The prosecution said those photographs constituted hostile reconnaissance in the capital. The phone also contained a picture of a handwritten oath of allegiance to terrorist group Daesh.

The same phone also contained three short videos in which Ludlow calls himself “the Eagle” and states his hatred of unbelievers, the desire to establish Sharia law and describes himself as a soldier of Daesh.

Ludlow video screen grab
Screenshot of Lewis Ludlow from one of the videos he filmed and called himself "the Eagle"

A number of torn up notes were recovered which suggested that Ludlow was actively involved in preparing a terrorist attack. One of the notes included information about the cost of hotels near Oxford Street where he planned to stay before the attack as well as the renting of a van.

Ludlow, from Rochester, also pleaded guilty to setting up Facebook and Paypal accounts which he used to fund Daesh fighters based in the Philippines. The Facebook account was called “Antique Collections” and appeared to be a legitimate business selling antiques. Members of the public could make payments to the site via Paypal. Ludlow transferred around £120 to a radicalised medic living in the Philippines.

Ludlow is expected to be sentenced in January 2019 at the Old Bailey.

Deb Walsh from the CPS said: “Lewis Ludlow considers himself a soldier fighting for Daesh 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 antiques 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.”

Notes to editors

  • Lewis Ludlow (DOB: 21/09/1991) pleaded guilty to:
    • Between 15 March 2018 and 19 April 2018 Lewis Ludlow entered into or became concerned in an arrangement as a result of which money or other property was made available or was to be made available to another and he knew or had reasonable cause to suspect that it would or may be used for the purposes of terrorism, namely by setting up and operating a Facebook account called ‘Antique Collections’ and using his personal account to transfer funds for such a purpose, contrary to section 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
    • Between 11 March 2018 and 19 April 2018 Lewis Ludlow engaged in conduct in preparation for giving effect to his intention to commit acts of terrorism, contrary to section 5(1)(a) of the Terrorism Act 2006.
  • Deb Walsh is acting head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division in the Crown Prosecution Service.

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