Update 22/04/2016: Majeed has been given a life sentence and will serve a minimum tariff of 20 years.
Suhaib Majeed, a physics student at King’s College London (KCL), has been convicted today of conspiracy to murder and preparation of terrorist acts.
Found guilty of firearms possession yesterday, Majeed and school friend Tarik Hassane, who had already pleaded guilty, had planned an Islamic State-inspired drive-by shooting.
Planning to potentially target a police station or Territorial Army base in West London, Majeed was tasked by Hassane with acquiring a weapon and moped for use in the attack, collecting a handgun from Nyall Hamlett – today acquitted of terror offenses.
Having sourced a Baikal self-loading pistol, silencer and ammunition, Majeed provided Hassane with a London-based facilitator while he studied in Sudan.
Majeed has been described as “the main co-ordinator behind the plot”, and downloaded a programme called ‘Mujahideen Secrets’ to encrypt his communications with Hassane.
It has also been suggested by Commander Dean Haydon, head of Counter-Terrorism Command at the Metropolitan Police, that Majeed was “more than likely” communicating with someone in Syria.
Majeed is not the first KCL student to be convicted of terror offences, with Roshonara Choudhry, who tried to assassinate the Labour MP Stephen Timms in May 2010, jailed for life in November that year.
She carried out her attack just weeks after dropping out of KCL because of its work with Israeli institutions and its research centre studying radicalisation.
Following the recent attacks in Brussels, Majeed’s conviction will renew the debate surrounding the ability of Islamic State to inspire attacks in Europe, and of their message to radicalise young people into taking part in them.
It also highlights the importance of ensuring universities are aware of their duty to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism, and for staff to be properly trained to identify those who might be at risk.