Islamic State bombers are in Britain and are ready to carry out lone-wolf attacks with World War II victory commemorations involving the Queen and the royal family being among the targets, according to a media report.
Fictional characters created online by Sky News were sent terror guidebooks by senior jihadists in Syria, including advice on raising funds and making weapons.
By posing on Twitter and in chatrooms as two individuals committed to jihad -- one male, one female -- the British television network gained a disturbing new insight into the extremists' tactics.
From the undercover operation it emerged that the Islamic State (IS) already has a number of potential bombers in the UK with some of whom trained in Syria and are ready to attack.
Islamic State is now focused on urging British would-be recruits to carry out "lone wolf" attacks in the UK instead of travelling to fight in Syria, the report said. One jihadist was quoted as saying that this Saturday's VJ (Victory over Japan) commemorations involving Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family were a target.
The insight comes just days after it was reported in the British media that British jihadis were plotting to blow up Queen Elizabeth II at VJ Day commemorations in central London. The online posts by the fictional characters over the past four months attracted the attention of two major players in Islamic State's so-called cyber caliphate.
One of them is Junaid Hussain, a 21-year-old hacker-turned-jihadist from Birmingham, who runs the IS information and recruitment arm from Syria, the report said.
He has been identified by the US Secret Service as a top-five target for elimination by drone strike. His wife, Sally Jones, from Kent, is also in Syria working alongside Hussain in Raqqa but dealing with female IS-supporting jihadists.
From the start it became clear that IS wants its recruits to attack the UK and not travel to their so-called caliphate. The fictional characters were advised to form gangs and to create a British Islamic State over a long period.
Communicating on encrypted messaging sites, a second conversation started with another character, created by the TV station, an 18-year-old girl. Jones quickly asked the character what she wanted to do in the UK -- to cut a head off or blow up a bomb. Jones revealed she had another potential bomber in Scotland and two others who had so far failed to attack, the report said.
With one or even three potential real bombers at large, the Metropolitan Police's anti-terror branch has been informed, it said.