The sentencing of a man who planned a van attack in London has been postponed over concerns he was “exploited” by a Filipino IS recruiter.
Lewis Ludlow, aged 26, was planning to target Oxford Street, in particular the crowds outside venues such as the Disney Store.
He was arrested while boarding a flight to the Philippines in February. When questioned by police, he claimed he was visiting the country as a “sex tourist”.
It was while on bail on a charge of attempting to travel to the country to wage jihad that the islamist formulated his London plans.
He was due to sentenced at London’s Old Bailey today (Friday, November 2).
However, the sentencing has been postponed over “issues” of whether he was depressed and had fallen under the influence of Filipino IS recruiter Abu Yaqeen.
The court had previously been told that Ludlow sent him money via PayPal and created a Facebook account that purported to be an antiques business in Maidstone. It was really a front to raise money for IS in the Philippines.
While investigating these cash transfers, police found torn up scraps of papers in Ludlow’s bin detailing his terror plans. They were pieced together to reveal “potential attack sites” including “Madame Tussauds”, “Oxford Street — busiest time…”, “St Paul’s Cathedral” and a ‘”Shia temple in Romford”. It added: “Further locations scouted for the kil. (sic)”
Ludlow, who called himself Ali Hussein, ‘The Eagle’ and ‘The Ghost’, pleaded guilty to raising money for terrorism.
Today, Prosecutor Mark Heywood QC said: “The case listing today was originally for sentencing but documents have been extending following cautions during the week.
“The headlines of these issues are first of all whether the defendant was disengaged from the planning activities that it’s accepted he was engaged in before his arrest.
“The degree to which his engagement is in part a result of exploitation of others, specifically Abu Yaqueen.
“A further issue is the degree to which he was suffering from any significant depression at the time of the offending, as opposed to any other time.”
The Recorder of London postponed Ludlow’s sentencing to a date yet to be confirmed while these issues are discussed.
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