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LONDON (AP) — Four British men inspired by a call by the Islamic State group to kill "disbelievers" plotted drive-by shootings to murder police officers, soldiers or civilians on the streets of London, a prosecutor said Monday.
The men, aged between 21 and 26, are accused of acquiring a pistol, a silencer and ammunition as part of plans thwarted by their arrest in late 2014.
The four went on trial Monday charged with conspiracy to murder and preparation of terrorist acts. They deny the charges.
Prosecutor Brian Altman told jurors at London's Central Criminal Court that the defendants' arrest "successfully disrupted a plot to kill a police officer, a soldier or possibly even a civilian, in one or more terrorist attacks."
He said the men plotted "one or more assassinations either involving a drive-by shooting or a shooting on foot and then a speedy escape by moped."
He said they were encouraged by Islamic State group spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani al-Shami's call, circulated on YouTube, to kill disbelievers in the West.
One of the accused, Nathan Cuffy, is alleged to have supplied a gun and ammunition, and the men discussed plans to buy a moped that would not to be traceable to them.
Cuffy, Nyall Hamlett and Suhaib Majeed were arrested in September 2014. A gun, bullets and a silencer were thrown out of Majeed's bedroom window when police came to detain him.
The fourth defendant, alleged ringleader Tarik Hassane, was studying medicine in Sudan and returned to Britain after the arrests to carry on as a "lone wolf terrorist," Altman said.
Prosecutors say he conducted "hostile reconnaissance" by searching for a police station and army barracks in West London on Google Street View before his arrest in October 2014.
The trial is due to last two to three months.