A delivery driver who plotted to kill US troops based in England by staging road accidents to lure soldiers from their cars and then attack them with knives and possibly a home-made bomb was jailed for life on Friday.
In a message to a suspected accomplice in Syria, Junead Khan, 25, a supporter of the Islamic State (IS) militant group, told how he had missed an opportunity to kill Americans on his rounds in Bedfordshire, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire in central and eastern England.
"When I saw these US soldiers on the road it just looked simple but I had nothing on me or would've got into an accident with them and made them get out the car," he wrote.
In sentencing at London's Kingston Crown Court, Khan, who was convicted last month of preparing terrorist acts and planning to fight with IS in Syria, was jailed for life and told he would serve at least 12 years in prison.
His uncle Shazib Khan, 23, who was also found guilty of planning to join IS, was given a 13-year jail term.
Police said they had recovered British and US flags stolen from a diner near Junead Khan's home in Luton, north of London, which they believe were potentially to be used for a symbolic act during the attack.
"Junead Khan's ambition was to attack an innocent US soldier on our streets. He sought inspiration from terrorist videos, bomb-making guides and contacts in Syria," said Commander Dean Haydon, head of London police's Counter Terrorism Command.