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Man Who Converted To Islam Jailed For Planning Terrorist Attack In London

NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images)

Graeme Gallagher Contributor

A Muslim convert was sentenced Wednesday to life in jail with a minimum of 15 years for planning a terrorist attack in London in which he said “nearly 100 could be killed,” according to The Guardian.

Lewis Ludlow, 27, who called himself “the Eagle” and “the Ghost,” swore loyalty to the Islamic State (IS), who told him to set off a truck bomb on a busy Oxford Street to make the British people “pay in their blood.”

“I have nothing for this country of Britain,” said Ludlow in a video shown in court. “I spit on your citizenship, your passport — you can go to hell with that.”

Ludlow identified Oxford Street as the “ideal” spot after researching and doing reconnaissance work around the capital. The former Royal Mail worker bought a phone under a false name and wrote down notes for his attack plan, which were later found ripped up in a bin outside his home. (RELATED: London Mayor Sadiq Khan Wants To Ban Cars In Light Of Recent Terror Attacks)

One note read, “Crowded London Areas, Oxford Street — long road with no bollards or barriers preventing a van mounting the pavement. Busiest time is between 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. with Saturday being the busiest day.”

The notes listed the Disney Store on Oxford Street, saying that “as many as 100 people could be killed in an attack using a bomb-laden truck,” reports BBC.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard, who sentenced the Kent native, believed that Ludlow was “engaged in preparations to launch a spectacular multi-victim attack.” (RELATED: Two US Citizens Identified As Victims In Dutch Terror Attack)

After swearing his allegiance and communicating with a IS militant in the Philippines, Ludlow tried to travel to the island country in February 2018 but was stopped by airport police and had his passport revoked. Making him feel like “a trapped animal unable to escape from its cage,” the cancelation of his passport led Ludlow’s IS contact to encourage him to plan the attack in the U.K, which he was later arrested for in April.

Ludlow pleaded guilty in August to funding IS abroad and plotting the attack, but claimed that he had abandoned the idea of going through with it. (RELATED: French Government Uses Terror Attack To Push Protesters To Go Home)

“We have dedicated units across the country who accept the extraordinary challenge of keeping the public safe from terrorist attacks,” said Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes. “I have no doubt that Ludlow was fully intent on committing a serious violent act in the name of Daesh’s twisted ideology.”

The sentencing comes after three improvised explosive devices were found in London transportation hubs on Tuesday. Being treated as linked incidents, the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism command unit has launched an investigation into the devices that injured no one.