Lone wolf Isis supporter allegedly planned to attack army and police with drone, axes and Japanese ‘Ninja eggs’

Samuel Osborne
Hisham Muhammad opening the door of his home to police, where they found weapons including a tomahawk, a machete and bear-claws, the Old Baily heard: Manchester Police/PA

An Isis supporter planned a “lone wolf” attack on the Britsh army or police using a specially-adapted drone, knives, axes and Japanese “Ninja eggs,” a court has heard.

Hisham Muhammad, 25, amassed an array of weapons at his three-bedroom rented terrace in Bury, including a tomahawk, a machete and bear-claws, London's Old Bailey was told.

He had also set about making a prototype of a drone attachment using lollipop sticks to drop a projectile or “harmful” device on his target, it was claimed.

He had allegedly researched police and army bases, including Castle Armoury Barracks near his hometown in Greater Manchester, which he visited before his arrest last June.

The Bermudan national, who moved to Britain in 2013, had allegedly helped fund his activities with money from a bogus online escort agency scam.

He was caught after his landlord spotted “suspicious” items at the defendant’s home including knives, a tub of wires and a soldering iron, the court heard.

Jurors were told his landlord had visited the property after Muhammad and his cousin Faisal Abu Ahmad, 24, had fallen behind with their rent.

In a search, police uncovered the stash of weapons as well as lollipop sticks attached to an electrical component with black tape and various wires, jurors heard. Some of the components allegedly matched sketches and detailed notes for adapting a drone.

Officers also seized two painted eggs containing crushed chilli seeds and shards of glass which were described as Japanese “ninja eggs”.

Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC said Muhammad had steeped himself in “barbarous” Isis propaganda as he planned a “lone wolf” attack in Britain.

The defendant had trawled the internet for postcodes in Westminster and central Manchester, knives, drones and British armed police, jurors heard.

On 21 May last year, he allegedly researched suicide belts, machetes and Victoria train station which had been part of the scene of the Manchester Arena terror attack a year before.

Two days later, Muhammad visited an army recruitment event in Bury town centre and the nearby Castle Armoury Barracks where expressed an interest in joining up, jurors were told.

It was claimed the defendant went on to Google “weak points of the human body for assault” as well as armed police in UK and Manchester.

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In a police interview, Muhammad denied planning an attack, saying he had a “gift from god for making things and liked to innovate”.

Ms Whyte told jurors: “We allege Hisham Muhammad intended to commit an act of terrorism – he plainly considered and researched the use of a drone to drop some sort of harmful device. That, we say, was always going to present technical challenges and he combined an anticipated use of a drone with plans to use knives or other bladed items in order to stab human targets.

“Whatever his final approach to an adapted drone, by the time of his arrest, he had plainly resolved to commit some sort of knife attack instead.”

Muhammad denies engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism.

Abu Ahmad has pleaded not guilty to failing to alert authorities of the alleged attack plan.

The Trial continues.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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