A man has admitted to a terrorist plot to bomb a London mosque. Steven Bishop pleaded guilty just before his trial was due to begin at Kingston crown court.
The 41-year-old admitted buying components, including fireworks and a firing device, to build an improvised incendiary device. He had also researched how to build a firebomb, as well as how to access the dark web.
Bishop, from Thornton Heath in south London, was arrested in October 2018 by detectives from Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command.
It is believed he was intending to target a mosque in Morden, south London. Police think he was acting alone and when he was arrested he claimed to officers he wanted to carry out the attack as revenge for the bombing ofManchester Arena in May 2017, which claimed 22 lives.
Bishop’s case was treated by investigators and the courts as a terrorist case. On a phone he had bought 10 days before he was detained, Bishop had researched previous terror attacks.
Bishop was reported to police by a counsellor he was seeing for substance abuse, in whom he confided his thoughts about carrying out violence, and attacking a mosque.
Bishop pleaded guilty to possession of an explosive substance with intent, in breach of the Explosive Substances Act 1883. The charge he admitted said that Bishop had by “29 October 2018, unlawfully and maliciously made or had in his possession or under his control an explosive substance with intent by means thereof to endanger life, or cause serious injury to property”.
Bishop also admitted an offence under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He accepted he had “made a record of information of a kind likely to be of use to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”. These were handwritten notes on how to create certain types of explosives and how to access the dark web.
Bishop is understood to have had past mental health issues.
He will be sentenced on Wednesday by Judge Peter Lodder QC and is expected to be jailed.