Teenager jailed for life after plotting terror attack at Elton John gig

Haroon Syed, 19 from London, has been sentenced to life with a minimum of 16 years and six months

A teenager from west London has been jailed after admitting to plotting a terror attack that could have targeted an Elton John concert in Hyde Park.

Haroon Syed, a 19-year-old from Hounslow, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey back in April to a charge of preparation of terrorist acts. Syed has now been jailed for life with a minimum of 16 years and six months.

The court had previously heard that Syed had looked into buying explosives online and researched busy areas of London to target. One potential target was Elton John’s gig in Hyde Park on September 11 last year – the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Syed also looked into targeting Buckingham Palace and Oxford Street, Europe’s busiest shopping street.


Syed was foiled when he revealed his plans on social media and on his mobile to a fake contact created by the security services. He told the contact he was intending to “do martyrdom” after doing “some damage with [a] machine gun”.

Mitigating, Mark Summers QC described the plot as a “crude, ill-thought-out” plan, but said that Syed had recently publicly rejected his past beliefs and condemned the recent Manchester attack at an Ariana Grande concert.

Earlier this year, Elton John cancelled a series of concerts following a stay in intensive care.

The singer is understood to have caught “a harmful and unusual bacterial infection” while on tour in South America, but at the time was said to be “expected to make a full and complete recovery”.