Uber driver, 27, ‘who tried to attack police with a Samurai sword outside Buckingham Palace’ tells court he became angry after watching TV channel Russia Today
- Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, from Luton, allegedly confronted officer last year
- He claims he felt guilty because he thought Britain was committing war crimes
- So wanted to die at the hands of the police as a protest of bombing in Yemen
- Chowdhury is also said to have told a friend on Whatsapp ‘I support ISIS’
- He denies preparing terrorist acts by obtaining a sword and the trial continues
An Uber driver who allegedly tried to attack police with a Samurai sword outside Buckingham Palace has told a court he became angry after watching news put out by the Russian television station RT.
Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, 27, from Luton, said he was watching news produced by the controversial channel on the day he decided to ‘confront’ police outside the royal palace.
On the morning of August 25 last year he woke up sometime after midday after doing a night shift and checked his phone.
‘Basically I opened the news up, I think on RT, and I saw that more bombs had been dropped and what struck me was that this bomb had been dropped on a wedding and there was a ‘double tap’ and they threw a bomb and then another so that there were no survivors.’
He said he remembered thinking: ‘If they can kill these people then they can kill me as well. I know the British government is involved in this war and the weapons are ours.
‘These people are innocent people why are they getting killed? It doesn’t make any sense. I feel like I am complicit in it as well.
‘I just thought I wanted to die at that point and I thought I should do something.’
He told the Old Bailey that he felt guilty because he believed that Britain was committing war crimes by supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia who are using them in Yemen.
‘Because I’m paying tax and these guys represent us. The decisions they make are on our behalf,’ he added.
His plan he said was to ‘die at the hands of the authorities and the best way was to show them a weapon and it would be just like in America where they would shoot them on sight and don’t ask any questions.’
Chowdhury said it ‘wasn’t about furthering any political or religious cause or intimidating people’, adding: ‘It was like I want to die just like they die in Yemen to clear my guilty conscious.’
He explained that committing suicide is forbidden in Islam because it was the ‘same as killing an innocent person.’
‘It’s not something I can do,’ he added. ‘I had to get that out of my mind.’
He assumed ‘I’m going to be dead by the end of the day’ and decided to visit his sister at the store where she worked.
‘I want to see my sister before I’m going to get killed but I also wanted to leave her a goodbye letter,’ he told the Old Bailey.
‘I wanted to leave it on her laptop so that when she goes on it, she sees it. I had lost her password, and that’s why I went to Sainsbury’s.’
On his way, Choudary claimed he had become ‘paranoid’ that his plan to ‘confront’ armed police officer and get shot would come apart because his sword did not look realistic.
‘I am not thinking things through, but I thought I should sharpen it, so that it’s shiny and they know it’s not a fake sword,’ he said.
He paid for the knife sharpener at the self check-out, then went to the kiosk where his sister was working, making ‘meeowing noises’ as part of a ‘joke’ between them.
Chowdhury said he had wrote a ‘very emotional and angry’ letter which he posted on her computer.
In the letter, he called his sister ‘Shrimp’, and told her ‘I love you most in the world,’ adding: ‘By the time you read this Insha’Allah [god willing] I will be with Allah. Do not cry and be strong.
‘The shaheed [martyr] will take 70 members of his family with him to paradise. I will take you there Insha’Allah.’
He also told her: ‘the Queen and her soldiers will all be in the hellfire. They go to war with Muslims around the world and kill them without any mercy. They are the enemies that Allah tells us to fight.’
His sister claimed she did not read the letter on the computer until after the failed attack but Chowdhury said he told her he intended to die during a phone call as he drove to London.
He said he told her: ‘I’m going to die, by the end of the day, I’m going to be dead.’
Chowdhury claimed he also added: ‘I’m not going to do anything bad, I’m not going to harm anyone, I’m just going to face these soldiers and get killed.’
‘There was a lot of crying in the phone call as well. Obviously she was saying don’t do this, come back,’ Chowdhury said.
But he threw his phone sim card and battery out of the car window so that she could not ring back, he said.
Chowdhury denied that he had driven to a pub in Windsor instead of the castle because he put the wrong address in his SatNav.
He claimed that he had put the street address of the pub into the device because it was close to the actual castle where he had first planned to die at the hands of police as a protest.
‘The reason I chose it is obviously the royal family, the Queen lives there and I assumed there would be a whole bunch of guys with guns outside it,’ he said.
But when he arrived he could not find any armed guards so he drove on to Buckingham Palace, where he swerved in front of a police van and was disarmed during a violent struggle with police officers.
As he grappled with the officers, Chowdhury shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ [god is great] and explained: ‘I thought I’m going to get killed. The last words I wanted to say were the words of god.’
Asked if he still felt suicidal, he told the court: ‘I started to pray more and go to Islamic classes and I felt better.’
Chowdhury had earlier told a friend in an online chat on Whatsapp ‘I support ISIS’ and changed his display picture to the black flag used by the terrorist group,
But he claimed he had considered participating in charity or aid work when he first started seeing news about the war in Yemen at the end of June or early July last year, before deciding it was pointless.
Chowdhury denies 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.