Hounslow teen plotted to blow up Oxford Street crowds with nail bomb in terror attack

Francesca Gillett
Haroon Ali Syed, 19, from Hounslow: Met Police

A teenager who plotted to blow up crowds in Oxford Street in a terrorist attack has pleaded guilty to terror offences.

Haroon Ali Syed, 19, from west London, had ISIS as his PIN code for his mobile phone and was planning to detonate a nail bomb in the busy shopping street.

The Hounslow man had tried to get bank loans to buy a machine gun, handguns, suicide vest and bomb but his applications were turned down.

Instead he tried to source a bomb and made a special request for it to be packed with nails so he could detonate it somewhere busy like central London tourist spot Oxford Street.

On Thursday Syed pleaded guilty to preparing for acts of terrorism between April 12 and September 9 last year contrary to the Terrorism Act 2006. He will be sentenced on June 8.

The young man was arrested at his home and all of his electronic equipment was seized after a joint investigation by M15 and the Met Police.

Commander Dean Haydon from the Met’s counter terror squad, said: “This is a prime example of how important the public are.

“It was information we received in respect of Syed’s change of behaviour that meant we looked at him and our close working relationship with MI5 ensured that we uncovered his plot to kill and mutilate innocent members of the public.”

Two other men arrested at the same time were later released with no further action.