Haroon Syed, a 19-year-old male Muslim teen is facing a life sentence for allegedly plotting to carry out a terrorist attack at the Hyde Park concert venue in London, where famed singer Elton John was scheduled to perform. Syed pleaded guilty in a court to the charge of preparation of terrorist acts, which occurred between April and September 2016.
 
Syed planned to commit a machine gun attack at Hyde Park and then detonate an explosive device to kill himself and bystanders. He sought to construct a bomb filled with “lots of nails in it” to inflict gruesome injuries. The teen researched several possible sites for mayhem, including the upcoming Elton John concert in Hyde Park, located in central London.
 
When British security services spied Syed searching online for weapons, they posed as fellow jihadis, Muslim warriors, to engage in him in planning. .
 
Syed is facing a discretionary life sentence, which is to say that the actual number of years he will to serve is at the discretion of the British government, as opposed to a mandatory number of years. His brother was sent to prison on a separate charge for having planned an attack on the date that the UK commemorates the fallen of the First and Second world wars.

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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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