An officer pretended to be Abu Yusuf when they did finally get together at a Costa Coffee in Slough and their conversation was taped. Throughout August, the discussions continued about making or getting a bomb and acquiring a gun, even though Syed confessed he had never used one before.
On August 30, Syed stressed that he needed a “portable” device, saying: “I might put the bomb in the train and then I’m going to jump out so the bomb explodes on the train … So ask the brother if he can make that type of bomb with a button.”
Meanwhile, he researched targets and they arranged to pick up the bomb in exchange for £150 the following week. Syed asked Abu Yusuf to make sure there were lots of nails in it and added: “I was thinking of Oxford Street … If I go to prison, I go to prison. If I die, I die, you understand.”
He searched the internet for IS, past terrorist attacks, and potential locations which included an Elton John concert in Hyde Park on September 11 last year.
Police moved in to arrest the defendant at his home on September 8 and his phone was seized. Asked for the password to unlock the device, Syed said: “Yeah I.S.I.S – you like that?”
In legal papers prepared for his defence, Syed was described as “highly vulnerable due to family history, lack of education, addiction to violent online games and the arrest and imprisonment of his brother”.