The man who broke into Windsor Castle on Christmas Day armed with a crossbow recorded a threatening Snapchat clip, channeling Darth Vader and describing himself as a “Sith.”
Jaswant Singh Chail said in the clip that he was planning to assassinate the queen in revenge for a notorious 1919 massacre in India by British soldiers.
His father, a software engineer, told reporters from MailOnline Monday: “Something’s gone horribly wrong with our son and we are trying to figure out what.
“We’ve not had a chance to speak to him but are trying to get him the help he needs. From our perspective, we are going through a difficult time. We are trying to resolve this issue and it’s not easy.”
In the video, Chail says, in a heavily distorted voice: “I’m an Indian Sikh, a Sith. My name was Jaswant Singh Chail, my name is Darth Jones.”
In the movie Star Wars, the “Sith” are aligned with the “dark side” of “the Force.” The actor who recorded Darth Vader’s voce is called James Earl Jones.
On the wall behind the man is a framed picture, which, the Sun says, is “of obscure Star Wars bad guy Darth Malgus.”
The Sun, which published the video on its website, said it was sent to the man’s friends at 8:06 a.m., less than a half-hour before Chail was arrested by armed police inside the palace grounds. He was less than 2,000 feet from the queen’s private rooms when he was seized.
The 19-year old, who has now been detained under British mental health legislation, scaled the palace fence using a rope ladder.
The spiked fence divides the publicly accessible land of Windsor Great Park from the private grounds of the palace. Police have attempted to play down the incident, saying the man was arrested “within moments” of the perimeter being compromised.
The palace has not commented.
Some security experts have made the case that the palace’s security worked as it should have, but others have argued the armed man should never have got as far as he did.
However the emergence of the video clip, in which the masked man shows the crossbow to the camera while addressing the camera using a voice distorter, vividly illustrates the nature of the threat.
In the clip he says: “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for what I’ve done and what I will do. I will attempt to assassinate Elizabeth, queen of the royal family.”
The man, who says he is an Indian Sikh, says he is seeking “revenge” for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, as well as those who have been “killed, humiliated and discriminated” on account of their race.
The Jallianwala Bagh, or Amritsar massacre, was a horrific event when British colonial troops opened fire on a large, unarmed crowd in the Punjab region of India, killing 379 unarmed democracy protesters. More than 1,000 others were wounded.
The man says: “If you have received this then my death is near. Please share this with whoever and if possible get it to the news if they’re interested.”
In a statement issued Sunday night, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “A 19-year-old man from Southampton was arrested on suspicion of breach or trespass of a protected site and possession of an offensive weapon.
“Security processes were triggered within moments of the man entering the grounds and he did not enter any buildings.
“Following a search of the man, a crossbow was recovered. The man was taken into custody and has undergone a mental health assessment—he has since been sectioned under the Mental Health Act and remains in the care of medical professionals.”
Dai Davies, a former royal protection officer, told The Sun: “The security operation went to plan… I don’t think there were any failings in security at all. They reacted precisely as you would expect them to.”
The incident will inevitably recall memories in the palace of the episode in 1982 when an intruder, Michael Fagan, an unemployed painter and decorator, broke into Buckingham Palace twice. On his second incursion, he gained access to the queen’s bedroom and spoke to her for several minutes before she fled.