A teenager from Essex has admitted to planning an “indiscriminate attack on the public” in London.

Matthew King, 19, spoke online about targeting police officers and army personnel and had planned to travel abroad to join Daesh, according to the Met.

An investigation into King was launched in April 2022 and he was arrested by counter-terrorism officers in May.

Police enquiries found that he had planned an attack targeting police officers and a member of the armed forces and that he had discussed committing a mass casualty attack on members of the public.

He had carried out hostile reconnaissance at several locations, including a London barracks and outside a criminal court.

Enquiries also found that he had taken steps to obtain a knife online and had planned to travel abroad to join Daesh.

King appeared at the Old Bailey yesterday (Friday, January 20) where he pleaded guilty to preparation of terrorist acts.

He will be sentenced on April 14 at the same court.

Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “It is not clear when or where King intended to carry out his attack, but he had conducted a significant amount of hostile reconnaissance.

“In online conversations, he talked about committing an indiscriminate attack on the public.

“Disturbingly, he also spoke about targeting police officers and army personnel.

“Concerns about King’s mind-set where reported to police, and it was those reports that led to King being investigated and his attack planning being discovered.

“This is another case which shows how the round-the-clock efforts of police, with our partners, are keeping the public safe from very real threats.

“It also shows how important it is for the public to report anyone they think may be vulnerable to radicalisation, or already on that path.”