A Bangladeshi-born Briton has been produced before a London court on Wednesday accused of plotting to kill British Prime Minister Theresa May by first detonating an explosive device to get into her Downing Street office.
Naa'imur Zakariyah Rahman, of North London, has been charged with preparing to commit acts of terrorism following his arrest London Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism officers on November 28.
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An armed police officer stands on duty outside 10 Downing Street in central London on December 6, 2017 AFP
The 20-year-old appeared alongside 21-year-old Pakistani-born Mohammed Aqib Imran from Birmingham, also charged with terror offences.
Prosecutor Mark Carroll told the court Naa’imur planned to detonate an improvised explosive device at the gates of Downing Street and gain access to May’s office in the ensuing chaos and kill her, reports Reuters.
“The secondary attack was to be carried out with a suicide vest, pepper spray and a knife,” he told the court.
Naa’imur was carrying two inert explosive devices when he was arrested last week, the court heard.
“His purpose was to attack, kill and cause explosions,” Carroll said.
Aqib is accused of making several attempts to travel overseas to Libya for the preparation of acts of terror, unrelated to the Downing Street plot. Scotland Yard also believe he was trying to join the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist network.
Both Naa’imur and Aqib have been remanded in custody after a brief appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court.
The men will appear at London’s Old Bailey central criminal court on December 20.
Naa'imur and Aqib gave no indication as to their plea so a not guilty plea was entered on their behalf. There was no application for bail.
A Downing Street spokesman declined immediate comment on the case.
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10 Downing Street is the official residence of British prime ministers. It is heavily guarded and there is a gate at the end of the street preventing members of the public from getting close to the house.
A third terrorist suspect, Husnain Rashid, also appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday for encouraging extremists to attack Prince George at school.
The 31-year-old allegedly used the encrypted message service, Telegram, to share a picture of the son of Prince William and Kate Middleton and the address of his school.
Rashid wanted the third-in-line to Britain’s throne to be the target of a terror attack, besides supplying practical assistance to would-be terrorists.
He pleaded not guilty to one count of preparation of terrorist acts, and one count of preparation to assist others to commit terrorist acts.
Prosecutor Rebecca Mundy told the court that the charges related to “two sets of conduct” on or before November 22.
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Armed police officers stand on duty at the entrance gates leading from Whitehall, into Downing Street, in central London on December 6, 2017 AFP
She said the first charge related to “his intention to travel to Syria, to engage in the fighting out there”.
On the second charge, she said: "A post, which we in this country will find particularly worrying, was a photograph of the young Prince George at the beginning of his school term, next to a silhouette of a jihadi fighter.
"Next to that was a caption, 'school starts early'. It provides an address in Battersea for a school to which the young Prince attends."
The court heard next to the photo was the caption: "Even the Royal Family will not be left alone."
Rashid was also remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey court in London on December 20.
The latest plots to assassinate British premier and Prince George emerge as a new report released this week found that the UK’s security services could possibly have prevented a suicide attack at the Manchester Arena in May. Bomber Salman Abedi killed 22 people when he blew himself up outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
Barrister David Anderson, who was asked to conduct an independent investigation, said Abedi had been on MI5’s radar but that his “true significance was not appreciated at the time”.
After reviewing the security services’ actions in relation to four terrorist attacks in the UK this year, he concluded: “It is conceivable that the Manchester attack in particular might have been averted had the cards fallen differently.”
In 1991, Irish Republican Army (IRA) militants launched a mortar bomb attack on Number 10. John Major, the prime minister at the time, was inside but not hurt.
Reuters has contributed to this article