Inside the Incredibly Lame Plot to Kill Prince Harry

Judge says Ashraf Islam's plan was 'vague and unlikely to succeed'

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 11, 2014 2:30 PM CST

(Newser) – A man was jailed for three years yesterday over a plan to kill Prince Harry ... but his murder plot was, as the judge put it, "vague and unlikely to succeed" at best, comical at worst. Ashraf Islam, a con man from Northern Ireland formerly known as Mark David Townley who converted to Islam in jail, first did "research" on Prince Harry, meaning he did a few Internet searches on the young royal's whereabouts, schedule, and security team. He then hatched his plan: Pose as a tourist, disarm a guard rather than bringing his own gun, and then, well, we'll let him take it from here:

  • "Aim for target. No civilians to be injured. Dress code is the the biker look," reads a document found on Islam's computer. "Use low-caliber pistol at close range. Not to be viewed as Islamist extremist." (The name of his plot, according to the Mirror? "Operation Regal.")

What went wrong? Well, instead of attempting to carry out his nefarious plan, Islam walked into a West London police station on May 23 and told police all about it, the Daily Beast reports. Irish news anchor Philip Boucher-Hayes has been following Townley/Islam for a while, and says, "If I had to speculate wildly as to why Townley has handed himself in to police it would be either because he has once again fallen on hard times and wants three square (meals) and a bed at the taxpayer’s expense. Or perhaps he’s trying to put himself beyond the reach of his creditors." As to a motive, Islam says Prince Harry has "blood on his hands" because of his connection to the British Army. In other royal news, Prince William recently went boar hunting, leading outspoken animal rights activist Morrissey to call the prince a "thickwit" and declare that he hopes William's and Harry's "hunting guns backfire in their faces," the Daily Beast reports.

Britain's Prince Harry arrives to attend a Christmas Day Service at St. Mary's church on the grounds of Sandringham Estate, the Queen's royal estate in Norfolk, England, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013.
Britain's Prince Harry arrives to attend a Christmas Day Service at St. Mary's church on the grounds of Sandringham Estate, the Queen's royal estate in Norfolk, England, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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