Teen accused of planning terror attack on Cardiff on day of Justin Bieber concert 'declared himself a soldier of Islamic State'

A 17-year-old accused of planning an Islamic State-inspired terror attack on the day of a Justin Bieber concert in Cardiff searched the internet for details of the event’s security, a court has heard.


The teenager, who cannot be named because of his age, was detained at his home by police after posting a picture of Cardiff Castle on Instagram.


Officers found a claw hammer, a kitchen knife and a “martyrdom letter” in his school rucksack.


Prosecutors allege the boy was engaged in conduct to prepare for an act of terrorism in the run-up to the concert on June 30 by conducting online research, obtaining weapons and preparing a suicide note.


Cardiff’s Castle quarter is alleged to have been researched by the boy using Google Maps while other searches sought details of a shopping centre, the city’s Central Library, and the New Theatre.


Further web searches presented to the court included “vehicle mounting pavement” and “car ploughs through a crowd”.


Prosecutor Matthew Brook asked the jury: “If the defendant was not planning a terrorist vehicle attack, what possible legitimate reason was there for such a search?


“This, the Crown say, is attack planning. Looking for places in Cardiff where there are going to be lots of people you can attack.”


Opening the case against the teenager, who denies preparing to commit acts of terrorism and four other terror charges, Mr Brook said a copy of a poster relating to the concert was found on the defendant’s computer.


Taking the jury through web searches conducted by the boy on June 28, Mr Brook told Birmingham Crown Court: “At 10.10pm there is this defendant searching ‘Justin Bieber Cardiff 2017’.


“As you are probably all aware, Justin Bieber is a well-known pop star and he was having a large concert in Cardiff on June 30, two days after this search.”



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On June 29, the court heard, a media file was created on the defendant’s computer showing a poster for the concert at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.


Jurors were told that the alleged terrorist also searched for “Justin Bieber Cardiff security” on June 29.


Mr Brook said of the search: “This defendant is interested in what the security will be for a large public event the following day.


“This is in context of course of all his searches, his threats on Instagram about Cardiff being attacked on the 30th, the knife and hammer in his bag, and of course the martyrdom letter as well.”


The court heard that the boy declared himself a “soldier” of the so-called Islamic State in the hand-written letter.


It is also alleged that he penned a note with bullet points including “run down the non-believers with a car” and “strike the infidels, who oppose Allah, in the neck”.


Mr Brook said a note found in the boy’s bedroom read: “I am a soldier of the Islamic State.


“I have attacked Cardiff today because your government keep on bombing targets in Syria and Iraq. There will be more attacks in the future.”


The defendant, from Rhondda Cynon Taf, denies two counts of encouraging terrorism by posting images on Instagram and two counts of possession of a record of terrorist information, namely an Isis propaganda magazine.


The youth, from a white British background, was detained by police on June 30.


Opening the case against the boy, Mr Brook told a jury of seven men and five women: “In this case, the evidence will prove that he became radicalised over the internet.


“He had terrorist material stored on his computer, he published posts on Instagram which encouraged terrorism, and he was planning a ‘lone wolf’ style attack in the name of Islam.”


The trial continues on Wednesday.