Student pleads guilty to mosque bombings, racial killings

Oct. 21, 2013 at 5:31 PM
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LONDON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- A Ukrainian doctoral student has pleaded guilty to several terror-related charges for a killing and bombing campaign in Britain's Midlands, officials said.

Pavlo Lapshyn, 25, pleaded guilty Monday to all charges after killing at least two people and planting bombs outside mosques in England. Police said he acted alone and admitted his actions were an effort to start a race war in Europe and the United Kingdom because he hates all non-white people, The Guardian reported.

Lapshyn will face life in prison with a judge set to deliberate when -- if ever -- Lapshyn will be eligible for parole.

Police said Lapshyn's terror campaign, concern over which stretched to the highest levels of British government, began almost immediately after he arrived in the country after being awarded a prestigious engineering study grant.

In April, just five days after arriving in the country, Lapshyn killed Fusilier Lee Rigby on a London street. He later stabbed to death Mohammed Saleem, an 82-year-old Muslim. Lapshyn was arrested in July as he was planning another mosque bombing. His first attempt failed when he detonated a device outside a mosque not realizing that night's prayers were being held an hour later, narrowly averting what police said would have been a mass-casualty situation.

Several other bombs were placed outside mosques on Fridays, a traditional day of prayer in the Muslim faith.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said Lapshyn had no contact with organized terror groups and was self-radicalized. He learned how to make the bombs on the Internet.

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