Man admits to planning terror attack on Christian preacher
A man has admitted to plotting to kill a Christian preacher in a terror attack at Speakers' Corner in London's Hyde Park.
Edward Little, 21, from Brighton, pleaded guilty to the plot against Hatun Tash during a hearing at the Old Bailey that he attended via video link from HMP Belmarsh.
He was arrested on 23 September 2022 while en route to London in a taxi and found to be carrying £5,000, a passport and two phones.
Tash is the director of the ministry Defend Christ Critique Islam (DCCI) and a regular at Speakers' Corner where she often talks about the Muslim faith.
It is alleged that Little intended to use the £5,000 to buy a firearm to target Tash and her camera crew as well as any police or soldiers in the vicinity.
Little originally denied preparing to commit acts of terrorism, but changed his plea to guilty on Friday.
Tash said: "l am glad that the police were able to act and stop Mr Little before he harmed me and people around me. This should concern everyone in the UK."
She added, "I should be able to practise my right to preach the gospel and critique Islam, or anything else that I disagree with, especially at Speakers' Corner, the home of free speech."
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Tash, said: "It will be a surprise to many that even here in the UK there are such risks for those who dare to challenge Islam. But as this case highlights that is the reality and Christians often bear the brunt of such hostility."
Last year, Tash received an apology from the Met and £10,000 in compensation and costs after being wrongfully arrested twice at Speakers' Corner. In 2021, she was stabbed in the same spot. The culprit has never been caught.