Murder Plan

Inside The Bizarro Prince Harry Murder Plot

Why did Ashraf Islam - aka Mark David Townley - walk into a police station and announce he planned to kill Prince Harry?

Oliver Cromwell he 'aint.

A Northern Irish conman named Mark David Townley, who changed his named to Ashraf Islam after converting to the Islamic faith, has pleaded guilty to planning to kill Prince Harry - after walking into a police station and announcing his plans back in May, just days after the murder of a serviceman on the street in London shocked the world.

Prosecutor Lynne Townley told Isleworth Crown Court in London, "On May 23, at Hounslow police station, Ashraf Islam made a threat... that he was going to kill another person, that was namely Prince Harry... He said he'd been watching the Horse Guards Parade and planned to disarm an officer while disguised as a tourist, rather than bringing a gun into London. He spent some 10 days in Thailand researching Prince Harry and his whereabouts."

But Philip Boucher-Hayes, one of the Irish public broadcaster RTE's top correspondents, had the story behind the story on his wordpress blog at the time.

Boucher-Hayes has been following the dubious career of Mark David Townley for many years, and wrote: "He was born Mark Townley, but has at various points either changed his name by deed poll or re-fashioned himself as Antonio Mandez, or Marx or others that I don’t know about, and Ashraf Islam is merely the latest in a long line of aliases. I have been following his scrapes with the law and the complaints of his victims periodically since 2007. If you are interested in what he has got up to and what kind of a person he is you can listen to a detailed interview he gave me in November 2012 here. You can listen just like any visitor to my timeline can listen. You could listen and put those facts together with the rather underwhelming circumstances of Ashraf Islam’s arrest and arrive at the conclusion that this man is anything other than a Jihadi.

"He is a sociopathic, egomaniacal monster who has left untold financial and emotional damage in his wake. He is a narcissistic rogue who is utterly convinced of his own brilliance and superiority to those around him. He is in short a nasty piece of work but he is no Jihadi. How could he be when he is utterly incapable of surrendering his life to anything other than the pursuit of his own comfort and happiness."

Boucher-Hayes has some theories as to why Townley took the bizarre decision to announce his plan to kill Prince Harry to the police, rather than simply not do it and therefore not be arrested.

"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 squares and a bed at the taxpayers expense. Or perhaps he’s trying to put himself beyond the reach of his creditors, not all of whom are always entirely innocent themselves. Linking himself indirectly to the Woolwich attack would simply appeal to Mark’s twisted sense of the theatric."

In court, Townley said he decided to confess after feeling “scared and nervous” on the morning of May 23, according to a report in The Mirror.He said he believed hurting people was wrong but “Prince Harry had chosen his path and had blood on his hands for power and profit”.

He pleaded guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court to one count of making a threat to kill.After analysing his laptop, police discovered a number of internet searches showing Islam had been researching Prince Harry’s protection team, his engagements and his general whereabouts.A video showed him making threats to kill Prince Harry to camera whilst he was in Malaysia.Islam’s sentencing has been adjourned until November 1 so a mental health assessment can be completed.