On August 10, 2018, British jihadi Lewis Ludlow, 26, pleaded guilty to planning to run down pedestrians on London's Oxford Street, in the hope of killing over 100 people. Ludlow, who primarily used the name Ali Hussain online as well as Abu Muhammad, first came to the attention of authorities in 2010 when he attended a rally led by extremist preacher Anjem Choudary, and was observed participating in demonstrations held by Choudary's banned Al-Muhajiroun organization. He had also been in contact with pro-ISIS hacker and chief ISIS English-language propagandist Junaid Hussain. Arrested in 2015, he was found to have ISIS materials on his electronic devices; no further action was taken at that time. In July 2015, British authorities discovered that Ludlow had been part of a Telegram chat group discussing making a remote-controlled bomb.
MEMRI has been monitoring Ludlow's/Hussain's online activity since 2016. The following report includes content from the MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) along with previously unreleased research on him.
Photo of Hussain/Ludlow on Facebook with extremist London-based preacher Abu Haleema
Previously Released MEMRI JTTM Reports On Lewis Ludlow (Ali Hussain)
On August 4, 2017, the MEMRI JTTM reported that Ludlow had shared an article on Facebook about a UK terror plot; the post was commented on by a vocal ISIS supporter from Madeira, Portugal named Claudio Marado, who according to his Facebook page had recently started a job as a door-to-door salesman in Sligo, Ireland. Marado, a former convict, had converted to Islam during his time in prison. In the past, Marado had chatted with ISIS recruiters on Facebook, and had expressed his desire to live in the Islamic State. Marado's Facebook account has been deleted several times; however, at the time this report was written, he was going by the alias Bilal Tawheed. He frequently expresses his support for extremists on his Facebook account.
Ali Hussain shared an article on August 3, 2017 on Facebook about four British men who were sentenced to life for planning a terror attack. Marado commented, "May Allah increase them in Iman [belief] and sabr [patience]."
A MEMRI JTTM report published June 13, 2017 stated that Ludlow had written on Facebook about the need for a funeral for Salman Abedi, who carried out the May 22, 2017 suicide attack at a crowded concert venue in Manchester, killing 22 people. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack the following day. On June 3, 2017, three men carried out a vehicular and knife attack on London Bridge and the nearby Borough Market, on behalf of the Islamic State. Following these two attacks, it was reported that imams were unwilling to conduct perform janazah, the Islamic funeral service, for these four individuals. ISIS sympathizers on Facebook were critical of these imams for refusing to bury the attackers.
On May 31, Ali Hussain argued on Facebook that it was necessary to give Manchester attacker Salman Abedi a funeral: "Salman abedi (rahimahullah) despite his actions was a Muslim and it is necessary to give him a janazah according to the shariah it is one of the rights of another muslim to bury his brother. It is downright disgusting that 'masaajid' [mosques] refuse to even bury him the books of fiqh [Islamic jurisprudence] are clear that a [sic] imam can refuse to make janazah salah [prayer] on a certain person with good reason but the congregation can pray over him and bury him. I do not condone his actions however it is from islam to bury all Muslims and we totally condemn these pitiful excuses people give when violating the ethics of Islam."
An October 17, 2016 MEMRI JTTM report noted that Hussain/Ludlow became friends on Facebook with the British ISIS fighter and recruiter Abu Usama Al Britani, who is easily accessible on social media. The fighter is friends with hundreds of Westerners on Facebook. However, he may be concentrating on singling out women. Britani reportedly was instrumental in radicalizing a 27-year old former topless model from England named Kimberly Miners, who on October 10, 2016, Miners was arrested on suspicion of terror offenses. On Facebook, he is friends with Western women who reside in places such as the UK, Italy, Greece, Australia, and the U.S.
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