A supporter of the Islamic State in Britain has been found guilty after he tried to recruit children into an "army" of jihadists to help carry out a series of terror attacks across London.
Umar Haque, 25, showed children violent propaganda videos showing beheadings and forced them to re-enact deadly attacks on London from the past as well as practice attacking police officers.
Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command said, "His plan was to create an army of children to assist with multiple terrorist attacks throughout London. He tried and he did, we believe, radicalize vulnerable children from the ages of 11 to 14."
Although Haque had no qualifications and he was only employed as an administrator, police say he used the guise of teaching Islamic studies to groom nearly 110 children into becoming militants. He worked at the Lantern of Knowledge, a small private Islamic school.
The school is also connected to the Ripple Road Mosque in east London. Thirty-five of those children are now under long-term safeguarding measures involving social services and other authorities. Six of them testified at Haque's trial and explained how he taught them fighting was good and had given them training to develop strength.
Authorities believe Haque radicalized online and was inspired by an attack in March of last year when Khalid Masood plowed a rental car into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge. Masood went on to kill four during the attack including stabbing a police officer to death on the grounds of the British parliament.
Haque also planned a similar attack using guns and a hire car packed with explosives with a 19-year-old named Abuthaher Mamun. Mamun also taught at the mosque and told children that all of the public deserve to be annihilated.
One victim said, "He tried to prepare the children for martyrdom by making them role-play terrorist attacks. Part of that role-playing was re-enacting attacking police officers. He had shown them graphic terrorist videos - beheading videos and frightening terrorist activities overseas. He described himself as a loyal follower to IS."
The sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
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