Uber driver found not guilty of plotting terror

‘Depressed’ Uber driver caught with samurai sword outside Buckingham Palace is found NOT GUILTY of terror plot after court hears he wanted police to kill him for brandishing 4ft blade

  • Mohiussunnath Chowdhury was acquitted by jurors at the Old Bailey
  • During the trial he claimed he was depressed and wanted police to kill him
  • He had repeatedly shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ while wrestling officers

Uber driver, Mohiussunnath Chowdhury who allegedly attacked police with a samurai sword outside Buckingham Palace has been found not guilty of preparing acts of terrorism, after jurors heard he was ‘depressed’ and wanted police to kill him’.

Jurors at the Old Bailey were unanimous in acquitting Chowdhury, 27, who was involved in a violent struggle with three officers on 25 August last year, where one officer said he had ‘fought for his life’ following the incident.

The first jury had failed to reach a verdict in June this year. Jurors in his latest trial were shown a number of drawings found inside his cell at Belmarsh Prison on September 27. 

Following the hearing Chowdhury, of Luton, Bedfordshire, bit his lip, raised his eyebrows and then saluted the jurors after they spent 11 hours and 36 minutes considering the verdict, which came in the latest trial at the Old Bailey.

 A police image of the sword used during the incident outside Buckingham Palace

During the trial Chowdhury claimed he was depressed and wanted police to kill him. 

He had repeatedly shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ while wrestling for control of a four foot blade outside the Royal residence at Constitution Hill.

Chowdhury had driven his blue Toyota Prius at a marked police van before officers sprayed him with CS gas when they saw him sat in his car with the deadly weapon.

He had been pictured (left and right) buying items before the attack. Chowdhury denied preparing terrorist acts by obtaining a Samurai sword, purchasing a knife sharpener, preparing a suicide note, and driving to the area adjacent to Buckingham Palace

He had set off from his home in Kirkwood Road, Luton, with the sword and a knife sharpener before he swerved in front of the police van at about 8.30pm on 25 August last year.

Chowdhury said he had been feeling lonely and depressed and only wanted to get himself killed by brandishing the blade to police officers.

He said he had ‘so many chances’ to get out of his car and kill the officers but chose not to.  

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During the hearing earlier this year, the jury was shown images Chowdhury had sketched in prison. 

One gruesome image showed a terrorist armed with AK47-style rifel shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he peppers a police officer standing outside 10 Downing Street with bullets.

He also sketched a picture of a plane flying into one of the Twin Towers in the 9/11 attack.

Chowdhury claimed he felt guilty about being a UK citizen since Muslims in Yemen were being killed by British weapons supplied to Saudi Arabia.

Dashcam footage shows PC Gavin Hutt walk towards Chowdhury’s car

He had previously penned drawings of the Twin Towers being bombed whilst he was in prison

In a WhatsApp group chat Chowdhury was asked if his profile picture was an Isis flag, and he responded: ‘It is an Isis flag. I support Isis,’ followed by a laughing emoji.

He later told jurors it was all ‘in jest’.

Chowdhury was born in London in May 1991 and later moved to Luton, working as a self-employed Uber driver.

Further social media was revealed showing Chowdhury praising the Westminster Bridge terrorist Khalid Masood and claiming all the non-Muslim victims of the atrocity would go to hell.

In a ‘suicide note’ left on his sister’s laptop Chowdhury urged his family to ‘struggle against the enemies of Allah’ which included the Queen and British soldiers.

He had also sketched a picture of a man shooting at 10 Downing Street 

His sister Sneha Chowdhury, 24, said her brother was ‘not a trouble-maker, just a practical joker’ whose interests included ‘cartoons, funny stuff and things like memes’.

Sneha said she found it odd when he suggested they watch ‘The State’, a Channel 4 documentary about the rise of ISIS.

Chowdhury had conducted internet searches for beheadings and ‘Prophet Mohammed crimes’ and ‘Mohammed sex slaves’.

Image above shows the wound from the sword which was inflicted on PC Ian Midgley

Prosecutor Timothy Cray said Chowdhury planned to die as a martyr, fighting in the name of Allah, in the wake of the terror attacks at Westminster and London Bridge last year.

Chowdhury was driving along the south east side of the road nearest the palace when he saw the marked police van coming the other way from St James’ Park way.

As Chowdhury swerved across the road the officers inside initially thought the driver might be drunk or on drugs, the court heard.

The samurai sword (pictured above) used to attack police outside of Buckingham Palace by Mohiussunnath Chowdhury

PC Ian Midgley and PC Gavin Hutt bravely approached Chowdhury and managed to overpower him and retrive the sword

PC Hutt said Chowdhury started screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ while wielding the sword.

Investigators found Chowdhury had searched beheadings in Chechnya, Islamic State beheadings and Jihadi John on the internet.

This image was taken on the scene during the incident last year

Chowdhury was cleared of preparing to commit an act of terrorism.

He told the court: ‘I felt lonely and depressed. I told my sister I didn’t want to live anymore.

‘My intention was only to show the sword to a soldier or the police and so get them to shoot me.

A map of the route Chowdhury had taken on the day of the attack outside of Buckingham Palace

‘If I was going to do any acts of terrorism, I could have got out the car with my sword when Mr Gavin was approaching. I had so many chances. I reject the allegations of terrorism.

Chowdhury said he had felt guilty being a citizen of the United Kingdom while Muslims in Yemen were being killed by weapons that the government sold to Saudi Arabia.

‘I came across articles criticising the UK government for selling weapons to Saudi Arabia who were killing these people,’ he explained.

PC Ian Midgley opened the passenger door of a Toyota Prius and reached inside to grab the samurai sword (pictured above)

‘Since I realised we were giving aid to them and at the same time providing the weapons for them to be killed, I thought this was a massive contradiction.

‘I felt depressed and guilty. I felt I was also responsible for the decisions taken by my government while my family were dying.

‘I had to shun these people, and show my disapproval. At the time I did not know how to do it. There was nothing I could do. I just wanted to disassociate myself from my government’s decision.’ 

Officers attended the scene outside of Buckingham Palace


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