justice court scales
Kazi Islam was found guilty of grooming a vulnerable teenager to commit a terror outrage Reuters

A teenager "ruthlessly exploited" a man on social media by grooming him in to committing a terror outrage against British soldiers.

Kazi Islam, 18, was inspired by the slaying of serviceman Lee Rigby in 2013 to begin grooming "vulnerable" Harry Thomas, 19.

A plot for Thomas to attack military personnel with a pipe bomb was only exposed when he bragged to friends about it.

At The Central Criminal Court on 29 April, Islam was convicted of preparing to commit acts of terrorism. He faces a prison sentence, said judge Richard Minks.

Islam ingratiated himself with Thomas by pretending to offer support following a relationship break up, months after the death of fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south London.

During lengthy exchanges on social media sites and on BlackBerry Messenger, Thomas was tricked by Islam and manipulated in to preparing to make a bomb.

Islam told him British soldiers had killed babies and children in messages recovered by police following a raid on the home in east London where Islam lived with his parents.

Annabel Darlow QC, prosecuting, said Thomas had been desperate to impress Islam and was exploited by him.

"Thomas was a vulnerable, not particularly bright young man who was desperate to impress Islam and to try and forge some sort of friendship with him," she said.

Islam will be sentenced on 29 May.