Terrorist convicted over attack on warder at top-security jail

Brusthom Ziamani was serving 22 years for a plot to behead a soldier

A terrorist jailed for a plot to behead a British soldier will be sentenced on Thursday after a jury found him guilty of attempting to murder a warder at a top-security prison.

Brusthom Ziamani, 25, and Baz Hockton, 26, strapped on fake suicide bomb belts made from plastic cartons and wires before carrying out the attack at Whitemoor prison in Cambridgeshire, eastern England.

They used makeshift weapons and lured the officer to a storeroom with a request for a spoon before launching the vicious attack in January.

The pair also injured two other female members of staff who came to the aid of the injured officer, Neil Trundle, before they were overpowered by other officers. Mr Trundle was left covered with blood from cuts to his head, arm and shoulder.

"I thank those colleagues of mine who risked their lives coming to my aid on that terrible day,” said Mr Trundle after both men were convicted of attempted murder. “If it was not for their bravery and instant response, I am convinced I would not be here today.”

Detectives later found writings by both men which supported extremist Islamist ideology and Ziamani had spoken of his wish to become a martyr, London’s Old Bailey court was told.

Ziamani was serving a 22-year sentence for a 2014 plot to behead a soldier, inspired by the similar killing of an off-duty serviceman Lee Rigby the previous year.

The two extremists ran over Mr Rigby in their car as the soldier left his barracks in southeast London. The pair then hacked his body and waited calmly talking to passers-by before police arrived. The pair were jailed for life.

Ziamani was arrested the following year after he was caught with a hammer and knife on the way to attack a soldier.

The latest violent incident involving Ziamani raises further questions about the treatment of dangerous terrorists within prison. It follows several attacks by inmates who were released before serving the full-term of their sentences.

Ziamani had claimed that he only carried out the attack to secure a move from Whitemoor and had not intended major injury.

He claimed that staff had become hostile to Muslims following the killing of two people by a terrorist prisoner who was released early from prison after apparently successfully completing a rehabilitation programme. Mr Trundle denied the claim of hostility.

"This was a calculated and horrific attack by two prisoners who had one aim - to try and murder prison staff," said Richard Smith, the head of London's Counter Terrorism Command.