A report released Thursday reveals that jihadi Abu Muslim Khurasani recruited a British reporter to commit heinous acts of terror in the name of ISIS.
For two months the jihadi recruiter coached the undercover journalist to carry out a lone wolf terror attack in London, The Sun reports.
The undercover reporter worked for the U.K. newspaper The Sun while communicating with Khurasani via Telegram, an app which encrypts messages between senders.
“Learn from Nice. Get a car you can park somewhere busy with many people—and a gun you can use at the same time,” Khurasani told the undercover reporter. “While sitting in car, use them all [referring to bullets] and quickly press the button. Both things must be in a hurry. No time gap”
The attack was to be carried out last Monday at a busy shopping center, an unexpectedly ordinary location for such extraordinary violence. The location selected indicates the recruiter hoped the attack would have the same abruptly atrocious quality witnessed in Nice.
Other considerations on the hit list included Big Ben and thed London Bridge.
The ISIS jihadi also guided the reporter in constructing a homemade bomb for the attack. Instructions indicated that all necessary materials, like fireworks and gas canisters, could be easily found for around ￡300 from high street shops.
The Sunday before the attack was to be carried out, Khurasani’s final message to the reporter read: “We will remember u. But I dont wanna distract ur intentions akhi (brother). Like all the brothers who did this. Tomorrow inshallah (God willing).”
According to The Sun, Khurasani often implored their reporter to heed Allah’s will. “We will remember your work — intentions must only be to serve Allah. He will love you for that.”
The Sun has since passed all evidence and information from their investigation to MI5 and anti-terror police.
Message exchanges reveal that the jihadi recruiter has plans for expansion once ISIS can “verify” potential recruits. The verification process for The Sun reporter was relatively simple and included a few questions about Islam and related prayer rituals.
Khurasani reportedly told the undercover journalist that ISIS was planning to recruit more lone-wolf terrorists in the West once they’re “verified” and often referred to the terror attacks in Nice, Germany and Florida as examples of what jihadis could achieve.
Ex-Scotland Yard commander John O’Connor commented on The Sun’s investigation in a somber tone.
“We can’t rely on good fortune, and the absence of terror attacks for so many years is no indication as to whether it will happen here,” O’Connor told The Sun. “There are thousands of these people who are potentially going to commit a terrorist offense…It will happen here—it’s just a matter of time. A terrorist attack is imminent.”
Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, commended The Sun’s proactive investigation.
“It is always helpful when journalists share with police information that could indicate terrorist or criminal activity.”
“While the U.K. threat level from international terrorism remains severe, we would like to reassure the public that we constantly review our security plans, taking into account specific intelligence and the wider threat.”
“We ask the public to remain vigilant and alert.”