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Prosecuting Terrorism

Terrorism, race hate, crimes against humanity, war crimes, violent extremism, hijacking and espionage cases are tackled by a specialist team of Crown Prosecutors. The Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS includes highly experienced prosecutors, advocates and caseworkers who work closely with the police to bring offenders to justice.

Find out more about how we prosecute cases of terrorism.

Teenager who targeted Elton John concert jailed for terror offences


A teenager who considered targeting a concert in Hyde Park on the anniversary of 9/11 has today been given a life sentence and ordered to serve at least 16 years and 6 months in prison at the Old Bailey.

Haroon Syed, 19, from west London, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to planning a terrorist attack between April and September 2016. He admitted to carrying out internet research of potential targets and tried to source weapons that he could use in the attack.

He used social media to speak to someone he believed to be a like-minded supporter of Daesh who would be able to help him carry out his attack in London. On 18 April 2016, Syed wrote, "Two things. Number one machine gun and we need someone who can make a vest you know the dugma (button) one". He went on, "So after some damage with machine gun then do itishadi (martyrdom)... that's what im planning to do".

Syed applied for bank loans allegedly for a motorbike (£4,000), a wedding (£2,000) and home improvements (£2,000) all of which were declined. The prosecution argued these were actually to fund his terrorist plans.

Between April and September he also accessed a number of graphic and extreme videos and images on his mobile phone. He also conducted searches for 'ISIS' and watched footage of terrorist attacks.

On 20 August his web history showed: 'WATCH: ISIS Executes 'Crossdresser' & Beheads 'Apostates', and on 22 August 'WATCH: 'ISIS Child Suicide Bomber' Attacks Wedding in Gaziantep, Turkey'.

Just before he was arrested Syed was searching online for potential targets including: "busy area in London", Oxford Street and an Elton John concert in Hyde Park.

Deb Walsh, Deputy Head of the Counter Terrorism Division, said: "Haroon Syed is clearly a danger to the public who was prepared to carry out indiscriminate attacks against innocent people.

"The compelling evidence presented by the CPS left him with no choice but to plead guilty."


Notes to Editors

  1. Haroon Ali Syed (dob 12/07/1997) pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts, contrary to section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.
  2. At the time of his arrest on 8 September 2016 Syed was living with his parents in Hounslow, West London.
  3. He was sentenced on 3 July 2017 to a life sentence and to serve a minimum of 16 years and six months. Minus 297 days already served he will have to remain in custody for at least another 15 years, 251 days. He will remain on licence for life
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