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Targeted fourth in line to the throne because ‘he has blood on his hands’Note on computer read: ‘No civilians to be injured. Dress code is the biker look. Not to be viewed as Islamic extremist.’ Handed himself in after feeling ‘scared and nervous’ about plot

A white Muslim convert planned to assassinate Prince Harry in an attack he had codenamed Operation Regal, a court heard.

Belfast-born Ashraf Islam, 31, gave himself up to police the day after Drummer Lee Rigby was killed in Woolwich.

He told officers at Hounslow police station in west London that he had ‘advanced plans’ to shoot the prince at close range with a low-calibre pistol.

Islam, formerly known as  Mark Townley, described Drummer Rigby as a ‘soft target’ and said he did not agree with the attack. 

He said he intended to kill Prince Harry because the third  in line to the throne, a veteran  of Afghanistan, ‘had blood on  his hands’.


Lynne Townley, prosecuting at Isleworth Crown Court, said: ‘On May 23, at Hounslow police  station, Ashraf Islam made a threat to PC Boyne that he was going to kill another person, that was namely Prince Harry.’ 

Islam, who changed his name by deed poll in 2010, arrived in the UK from Thailand the day before his confession.

Miss Townley said: ‘He said he’d been watching the Horse Guards Parade and planned to disarm an officer while disguised as a tourist, rather than bringing a gun into London.

‘He spent some ten days in Thailand researching Prince Harry and his whereabouts.

‘He used his time in Thailand to get his fitness to a higher level. He planned to send a telephone warning to create a diversion.’

A document found on Islam’s computer stated: ‘Aim for target. No civilians to be injured. Dress code is the biker look. Use low-calibre  pistol at close range. Not to be viewed as Islamist extremist.’

She told the court that after landing at Heathrow, Islam checked into a Travelodge hotel and at 11am the  following morning went to Hounslow police station.

He told PC Boyne, the duty officer, that he wanted to talk about a murder and asked to speak in private. 

Miss Townley said: ‘He told the officer he had come to the station because he wanted to admit to a  serious incident which he would commit the next day. He claimed he was being monitored by UK security.

The would-be killer said he decided to confess to his grisly plans after feeling ‘scared and nervous’ on the morning of May 23. 

‘He said he felt it was best to speak to the police directly.’

At Uxbridge magistrates’ court on May 25, Islam pleaded guilty to one count of making a threat to kill.

Islam, who separated from his wife and young child in Northern Ireland after making ‘several reckless financial decisions’, converted to the religion in Belfast.

The Crown Court adjourned his sentencing until November 1 so a mental health assessment can be completed by a doctor.ebook

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