Mohiussannath Chowdhury had been charged with an allegation under s5 of the Terrorism Act 2006. The prosecution alleged that on 25th August 2017 Chowdhury drove to Buckingham Palace with a long samurai sword to commit an act of terror.
Prior to leaving his home he had written a suicide note to his sister and sharpened the sword. In the days leading up to this incident, Chowdhury had professed hatred for the Queen, the armed forces and the police. He believed the UK was complicit in the killing of innocent people in Yemen by supplying arms to Saudi Arabia.
When he attended the vicinity of Buckingham Palace, Chowdhury drove his vehicle in the path of an oncoming police vehicle. Whilst police officers struggled to disarm Chowdhury, he shouted “Allahu Akbar” a number of times. Police officers were injured in the process.
Chowdhury’s defence was that he had become depressed and concerned about events in Yemen. He believed he had blood on his hands as the UK Government had been acting in all UK citizens’ behalf. He decided that he did not want to live any longer. As suicide was forbidden in Islam he thought if he had shown armed officers/soldiers his sword, they would shoot and kill him. This has been referred to as suicide by cop in other cases.
Chowdhury was initially tried in June 2018 where the jury were unable to reach a verdict. He was retried in December 2018 when the jury unanimously acquitted him. Both trials were before Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb. The trial attracted widespread media attention. Here are a few media links to the reporting of the case: