A teenage Muslim who idolised the killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby was arrested as he made his way to behead a British soldier, a court heard.
Brusthom Ziamani, 19, was arrested on a street in east London in August carrying a 12-inch knife and a hammer in a rucksack, having earlier researched the location of army cadet bases in the south east of the capital, the Old Bailey heard.
Ziamani had “reverted” to Islam early in 2014 and his August arrest came after he showed his ex-girlfriend the weapons, described Lee Rigby’s killer Michael Adebolajo as a “legend” and told her he would “kill soldiers”, prosecutor Annabel Darlow said.
The jury heard he also put posts on Facebook under the name Mujahid Karim supporting Sharia law and stating he was “willing to die in the cause of Allah”.
Ms Darlow said: “He didn’t say anything when he was arrested on that particular occasion but he was remanded and told a security officer that he had been on his way to kill a British soldier at an army barracks when he had been arrested.
“He said that he was going to behead the soldier and hold that soldier’s head up in the air so that a friend could take a photograph with the severed head of the soldier.
“You may think that his aim was to emulate the dubious feats of his hero Michael Adebolajo, who had murdered a British soldier close to the Woolwich barracks where he worked.”
Ziamani, of Camberwell, London, denies a charge of preparing an act of terrorism on or before August 20 last year.
Ziamani had previously been arrested in June 2014, the court heard.
The court heard on June 20 he had googled “Camberwell army cadets” and looked at the website of the London Irish Rifles Association, and for cadets in Lewisham, looking at details of the Army Cadet Force in Blackheath.
Ms Darlow added: “These were all military targets which would reflect the defendant’s stated intention to wage war on the British Government and to further his ambition of carrying out attacks like those on Lee Rigby in Woolwich.”
After his June arrest police found a letter in his jeans addressed to his “beloved parents” saying he was a “changed person”. He wrote of being martyred and going to paradise and referenced people being raped, tortured and killed in Iraq and Syria, saying that he had a “duty” to help them.
He wrote: “Because I have no means ov gettin there I will wage war against the british government on this soil the british government will have a taste of there own medicine they will be humiliated this is ISIB Islamic State of Ireland and Britain (all sic).”
He added: “Now we will take a thousand ov yours then ten thousand and send you all to the hell-fire you want war you got it British soldiers heads will be removed and burned u cannot defeat the Muslims we love to die the way you love to live my fellow muslim brothers these people want war lets kill them slaughter them and implement sharia in our lands and UK (all sic).”
He went on: “Lee Rigby is burnin in hell im dying good for him this is what you get for voting Cameron and democracy.”
He told police he looked up to radical preachers including Abu Hamza and Anjem Choudary, but denied he was planning an attack. He was later released on bail and spoken to in July by anti-radicalisation Prevent Engagement Officers. The court heard Ziamani was unresponsive and said he “did not need help with his religion” and had left the home of his Christian family.
Ziamani continued to post extremist material on Facebook, including a photo of six severed heads, the court head. He also wrote about waging war on the “kuffar” and “it is a shame Hitler never finished his job”.
He also wrote: “You can sit at home and play Call of Duty or you can come out here and respond to the real call of duty – the choice is yours.”
The court heard he also researched the murder of Lee Rigby, reading news articles about the attack and Adebolajo.
Ms Darlow added: “The prosecution say that the defendant saw Michael Adebolajo as a hero and role model whose crimes he aspired to copy.”
Ziamani identified with the Woolwich killer, she added, as he was also a convert from a Christian family and took direct action against the armed forces.
Ziamani got back in touch with his ex-girlfriend, on August 16. The court heard he sent her messages and made several visits over the next few days, telling her: “If I leave this world I don’t want any hatred to be left between us.”
On August 19 he arrived at her home at 7am, telling her: “Me and the brothers are planning a terrorist attack,” Ms Darlow said.
The teenager asked Ziamani if he meant a bomb and he said: “No not like that, basically to kill soldiers.”
Ziamani was arrested in Settles Street in east London later that day and charged.
The jury of eight women and four men heard that while being held on remand at HMP Wandsworth he told a security officer: “I was on my way to kill a British soldier at an army barracks. I was going to behead the soldier and hold his head in the air so my friend could take a photograph.”
Free-runner Ziamani came to his ex-girlfriend’s home with the hammer and knife wrapped in a black Islamic flag in his bag, she told the court.
She told how he sent her several text message before turning up several times at her home in the days before his August arrest. On the last occasion on the day of his arrest he came into the house at 7am with a rucksack, she told the jury from behind a screen.
“He opened his bag and he produced two items,” she said. “One was a hammer and one was a metallic object.
“They were wrapped in an Islamic flag, a black flag.
“I asked why he had these and he said ‘me and the brothers are planning a terrorist attack’. I said what, like a bomb or something and he said ‘no, a soldier or a member of government.'”
She added that the metallic object was a screwdriver or a knife and after showing them to her he showed YouTube videos of people being killed in Syria.
She told how Ziamani, who she knew as “Bruce”, had initially been interested in Islam but continued to dress in a western style, jeans and track suits. But when she came back from a short holiday she found he had converted to Islam, including wearing Islamic clothing, saying things that she didn’t like. Their relationship later ended.
“He referred to people who were not Muslim as ‘kuffar’,” she said. “He said things like when the Lee Rigby murder happened, he respected the people that had done it.”
She also said Ziamani tried to convince her to convert, and once told her “I will wipe you out” during a row, which was one of the reasons he came to her house in August, to apologise.
Naeem Mian, defending Ziamani, asked her whether, when the defendant came to her home, they had been discussing “going back to how it used to be”, showing her that Ziamani had visited websites listing Muslim names for children while there.
She denied it. But she agreed with Mr Mian’s suggestion that Ziamani was someone who sometimes “made things up”.
Mr Mian asked her why she did not call the police after he left her house, and she replied: “I thought that if I went to the police and told them he had been saying these things it would just be my word against his. If it hadn’t worked he could easily have done something to me.”
She added that she had been planning to record Ziamani repeating what he had said during a phone call. But he did not answer when she called him, as arranged, at 6pm, she said.
Shortly afterwards police arrived at her home and told her he had been arrested and she told them what he had said.
The trial, which is due to last around two weeks, continues