A police officer has described fighting for his life as he grabbed the blade of a sword to prevent a terrorist attack on colleagues outside Buckingham Palace.
PC Ian Midgley opened the passenger door of the Toyota Prius and reached inside to grab the samurai sword and grapple with the suspect who was yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’, which translates to ‘God is great’ in Arabic.
He told the Old Bailey: ‘I’ve done this job for 20 years and that was the only occasion I have had to fight for my life.’
Dashcam footage from a police van showed another officer, PC Gavin Hutt, raining blows on Mohiussunnath Chowdhury through the driver’s window as they tried to prevent the alleged attack.
The scene outside Buckingham Palace (above) after the attack on police officers
The samurai sword (pictured above) used to attack police outside of Buckingham Palace by Mohiussunnath Chowdhury
Dash cam footage (pictured above) was submitted by the Metropolitan Police for review
Chowdhury, 27, an Uber driver from Luton, had first driven to the Windsor Castle pub in Windsor instead of the castle itself after apparently putting the wrong address in his SatNav.
When he arrived at Buckingham Palace shortly after 8.30pm, he swerved through traffic bollards and swung across the carriageway in front of a police van.
PC Midgley told the court: ‘The driver for no apparent reason suddenly leaned down towards the passenger side area.
Chowdhury (pictured above) denies preparing terrorist acts by obtaining a Samurai sword, purchasing a knife sharpener, preparing a suicide note, and driving to the area adjacent to Buckingham Palace
Chowdhury had sketched pictures of attacks outside of 10 Downing Street
‘There appeared to be some sort of struggle starting. Because of what was going on, my immediate thought was I would try the passenger door and it immediately opened.
‘The area is quite poorly lit, there isn’t a lot of street lighting and from my memory there wasn’t an interior light in the vehicle.
‘There was quite a large object in a T shape in the passenger seat area. Because I didn’t know what the object was, it was of immediate concern.
The sword used (pictured above) to attack the police officers outside of Buckingham Palace
‘I grabbed towards the top of it, right below the T part. He started shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ and it became clear I had grabbed something extremely sharp, it started cutting into my hand.
‘He was punching me in the face. I thought if I put my head down, then at least he’ll get the top of my head.’
PC Hutt was on his way to Belgravia Police station from Charing Cross to act as cover for officers at the Notting Hill Carnival the next day.
PC Ian Midgley opened the passenger door of a Toyota Prius and reached inside to grab the samurai sword (pictured above) and grapple with the suspect
He got out of the passenger side of the van to see what had happened and told the court: ‘It was almost like someone had stalled the car. I said to Ian I would go and check it out. I didn’t think much of it at the time – I thought it was someone doing a U-turn or a drunk driver, something like that.
‘As I got closer to the vehicle I looked in and saw the defendant in the vehicle no one else. He was staring at me intently which I thought was a bit odd at the time but people do react differently when a police officer approaches.
‘I said words to the effect of, ‘What’s going on, what’s up?’ to get the driver’s account. He said, ‘It’s all a bit f**ked up, those were his exact words. I thought that’s a really strange thing to say.
Chowdhury had also sketched pictures of images showing the Twin Towers being blown up
‘He then leaned over towards the glove box to get something. It obviously sets off alarm bells from an officer safety point of view if they haven’t been asked to get anything.
‘I believe at that point I became concerned so I leaned in and put my hand on his shoulder to say mate, whatever you’re doing, leave it and speak to me.
‘That didn’t have any effect and then he started shouting Allahu Akbar. He was saying it loudly. That’s when the penny dropped what I was dealing with.
A map of the route Chowdhury had taken on the day of the attack outside of Buckingham Palace
‘I saw the handle of a sword and decided to use more force than holding him back by the shoulder, so I punched him in the face.’
‘My intention was to render him unconscious because I honestly feared for my life and my colleague’s lives. I didn’t know what could be in the vehicle, there could have been a firearm or explosives.’
PC Hutt managed to get Chowdhury’s arm out of the window and yelled at another colleague to use CS spray which subdued Chowdhury and he was dragged from the car and arrested.
PC Midgley had said he grabbed something sharp, his injuries are seen above
A slash in the fabric of the passenger seat (left) can be seen as well as other marks on the car (right)
Chowdhury later sketched out a picture of an Islamic fighter shooting a police officer outside Downing Street which he pinned to his cell wall ‘like a poster’
The prison cell was inspected on September 26 this year when prison officers found the sketch showing a fighter in a suicide vest, shooting an unarmed officer and yelling ‘allahuakbar!’.
The picture was headed ‘The exchange/the bargain’ and carried the words: ‘Respond to that which gives you life, shaheeds [martyrs] are alive! Allah has bought the lives of the believers in exchange for paradise.’
Chowdhury had acted odd when officers approached the car outside of Buckingham Palace
Mr Cray told the jury: ‘This is not plain vanilla suicide or common or garden suicide. This means that the enemy gets killed and that is how you are going to do it.’
Another sketch on the wall showed a plane crashing into the Twin Towers, and he had pinned them to the wall ‘almost like posters,’ the jury heard.
Following another search on October 2, officers found a list headed ‘Reject taghut [idolatory] and believe in Allah’ that read: ‘Cause of Taghut – democracy, communism. Allies of Satan – USA and all allies (Nato), UK/Canada/Australia, EU nations.’
The route taken by Chowdhary near Buckingham Palace (above)
There followed a list of 14 nations ending with ‘South America’ and another list headed: ‘Ranks of Taghut – army, air force, navy, border guard, police.’
The rest of the list was ripped off, and at the bottom it read: ‘Every country in the world is run by and fights in the cause of taghut. It is halal [permitted] to fight them.’
Chowdhury denies preparing terrorist acts by obtaining a Samurai sword, purchasing a knife sharpener, preparing a suicide note, and driving to the area adjacent to Buckingham Palace.
The police cordon outside of Buckingham Palace last year