Terror accused Hisham Muhammad searched online for suicide belt
An Islamic State supporter accused of plotting a terrorist attack searched online for “weak points in the human body” and “suicide belt”, a court has heard.
Hisham Muhammad allegedly hoarded an arsenal of weapons and a drone for a “lone wolf” attack.
The 25-year-old’s trial at the Old Bailey heard he also searched online for jihadist literature.
He denies engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism.
The Bermudan national, from Bury, Greater Manchester, is accused of plotting to attack an Army barracks with a modified drone.
Jurors were told he identified a possible target at Castle Armoury, a territorial army base in Bury.
Prosecutor Emma Gargitter told the court Mr Muhammad, of Victoria Avenue, Whitefield, made a series of “no comment” responses during police interviews over search terms including “military base near me”, “Glock 19”, “weak points in the human body”, as well as for Islamic State and Al-Shabaab literature and videos.
He also made dozens of internet searches between April and May, including for “armed police Manchester”, “suicide belt” and “pressure cooker”, as well as for for machetes, Samurai swords, stainless steel nuts and bolts, potassium nitrate, and aluminium oxide, the court heard.
The jury was told Mr Muhammad said in a prepared statement in June: “I have no intention to die or kill someone. Islam prohibits one from committing suicide.”
He also said some of the searches were for “research purposes” and added in another police statement: “I’m not a terrorist. It’s not illegal to watch such videos.”
The prosecution allege he had also “researched how small drones might be adapted to drop some sort of device designed to harm others”, as well as studying “how to use knives to lethal effect”.
Mr Muhammad’s cousin Faisal Abu Ahmad, 24, is also on trial, accused of failing to alert authorities of the alleged attack plan.
The trial continues.