Nadir Syed was born in Barking, east London, and his family moved first to Slough before returning to Pakistan in 2002 and again in 2006, then returning to Britain in 2009 and settling in Southall.
He ended up two years behind at school after being forced to drop his GCSEs during one trip back to Pakistan caused by his father’s business interests in land and property.
In the end he left West Thames College in Hounslow in 2013 at the age of 20 with a level 3 BTEC in combined science. He applied for catering and fundraising jobs but did not work full-time and was signing on for jobseeker’s allowance.
Syed, who was wearing a purple T-shirt and brown Islamic skull cap, attempted in January 2014 to travel to Syria via Turkey to fight the forces of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. However, he failed to leave the UK after his passport application was turned down. He was convicted of planning to carry out an IS-inspired knife attack in the UK. He was arrested hours after buying a chef’s knife in November 2014, days before Remembrance Sunday. Woolwich Crown Court heard how he had been encouraged by an IS fatwa calling for attacks on Western targets, including police and soldiers. Nadir Syed was planning to behead a poppy-seller or police community support officer.
He was jailed for life with a minimum of 15 years to serve in June 2016 for plotting to carry out a Lee Rigby-style beheading around Remembrance Sunday.