A teenager has been found guilty of plotting an ISIS-inspired ‘lone-wolf’ terror attack at a Justin Bieber concert.
The 17-year-old planned a massacre at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium after penning a ‘martyrdom letter’ declaring himself a soldier of ISIS.
He searched for details of the venue’s security just days before the Canadian pop megastar was due to play at the Welsh capital on June 30.
A court heard the boy, who is from a white British background, may have also been looking to target Cardiff Castle.
He conducted more than 2,000 searches over a year including ‘Cardiff terrorist attack’, ‘how to create a terror attack’ and ‘how to pledge allegiance to ISIS’.
Police arrested him at his home in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area of south Wales on June 30, and found the ‘martyrdom letter’ in his schoolbag along with a claw hammer and kitchen knife.
The letter 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.’
Officers also found a note detailing to how to ‘run down non-believers with a car’ with the bullet point instruction ‘strike the infidels who oppose Allah in the neck’.
The teen, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denied committing acts of terrorism by engaging in online research into attack planning.
He also denied 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.
However, a jury found him guilty of all charges at Birmingham Crown Court following a two-week trial.
He will be sentenced at the same court on January 10.
During the course of the trial, Matthew Brook, prosecuting, said: ‘His interest in suicide evolved over time into an intention to commit a suicide attack in the name of Islam.
‘The defendant told the police in his interview that he had been conversing with someone called Al Baghdadi over Instagram.
‘Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the leader of ISIS.
‘He searched ’17 year old Jihad’, Holy War, the defendant when making that search was 17 years of age.
‘On June 15 – ‘Vehicle mounting pavement’, ‘car ploughs through a crowd, ‘Google maps – Castle quarter, Cardiff’.
‘What legitimate reason could the defendant have for searching that? The Crown say none.
‘This, the Crown say, is attack planning – looking for areas in Cardiff where there are lots of people you can attack.’
The court heard the boy uploaded an image of Cardiff Castle with a caption, ‘Cardiff are you prepared?’, with a picture of a jeep, knife and a bomb.
Another image was captioned: ‘Oh my Islamic state brothers you are the role models of these worlds.
‘The attack on Cardiff will be deadly.
‘May the infidels be hit by vehicles and in the name of Allah may the blood be shed of non-believers.
‘Stop bombing the homeland Theresa May.
‘May Allah bring terrorism to Cardiff on June 30, 2017.’
Mr Brook added: ‘This is a post to the world by the defendant encouraging terrorism.
‘On June 28 at 10.10am there was this defendant searching ‘Justin Bieber Cardiff 2017’ and ‘Justin Bieber Cardiff security’.
‘So the defendant in that search is interested in what security will be like for a large public event which was going to take place the following day.
‘This is in context of course of all his terrorist searches, his threats on Instagram about Cardiff being attacked on 30th, the knife and hammer in his bag, and of course the martyrdom letter as well.
‘We’ve seen that the defendant had an unhealthy interest in terrorism and IS for many, many months; not just a week before his arrest.
‘He was preparing for a lone wolf style attack, which involved him attacking innocent by-standers with a knife and hammer.’