• Jihadis plan to blow up the Queen at an event to mark the anniversary of the end of the Second World War
• Police and MI5 are involved in a race against time to thwart the assassination plot orchestrated from Syria
• Extremists aim to strike on Saturday by exploding a deadly pressure cooker bomb during events in London
• Other members of the Royal Family, David Cameron, veterans and serving soldiers are due to attend event
By IAN GALLAGHER and MARK NICOL FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
PUBLISHED: 21:01 GMT, 8 August 2015 | UPDATED: 08:46 GMT, 9 August 2015
British jihadis plan to blow up the Queen next weekend at an event to mark the anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that police and MI5 are involved in a frantic race against time to thwart the assassination plot being orchestrated from Syria by Islamic State commanders.
The extremists aim to strike on Saturday by exploding a deadly pressure cooker bomb during events in Central London to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day – Victory in Japan.
Such an attack, if successful, would cause high casualties and represent the realisation of long-held fears of a terror ‘spectacular’ by home-based Muslim extremists.
Sources have told this newspaper that a specific threat was made against the Queen, triggering an urgent review of security arrangements for next weekend’s events.
Other members of the Royal Family, including Prince Charles, who is identified in intelligence reports as another possible target, are also due to attend.
They will join Prime Minister David Cameron, assorted dignitaries, more than 1,000 veterans of the Far East campaign and their families, and serving members of the Armed Forces.
And with thousands of members of the public expected to line the streets around Whitehall and Westminster Abbey, police fear enormous potential for carnage.
The plot is understood to involve a device similar to that used in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing which killed three people and injured more than 260.
In the UK’s most deadly terror attack of recent years – the July 7 London bombings – 52 people were killed and more than 700 injured when four suicide bombers struck on Tube trains and a bus in Central London in 2005.
Typically, having been warned about next week’s planned attack, the Queen indicated her determination to attend the event to ‘honour the fallen’.
Senior members of Scotland Yard’s Royal Protection branch, SO14, have been informed, along with SO1 Specialist Protection, the unit responsible for the security of the Prime Minister and any dignitaries considered to be ‘under threat from terrorist attack’.
The Home Office has also been made aware of the plot.
On Saturday, the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh – a veteran of the war in the Pacific – will first attend a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square. From there dignitaries will move to Horse Guards Parade for a traditional military ‘drumhead’ service, a flypast and a wreath-laying ceremony before the set-piece VJ Day parade of veterans and current troops down Whitehall to Westminster Abbey.
All the events will be broadcast live on television by the BBC.
While hundreds of IS converts have left UK for Syria and Iraq over the past two years, others have been urged to remain in the UK and launch attacks on home soil.
Although The Mail on Sunday understands that no arrests have been made, counter-terrorism officers are monitoring the plot’s development.
Some intelligence reports suggest that the 2pm drumhead service in Horse Guards Parade, just half a mile from Downing Street, might be a specific target.
Led by the Bishop to HM Armed Forces, the Right Reverend Nigel Stock, it will see drums draped with military colours used in place of an altar to replicate services held on the field of battle during the war.
The Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945 – less than a week after the United States dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – brought the Second World War to its conclusion.
Veterans due to attend the VJ Day parade said yesterday that tight security measures had already been put in place ahead of next Saturday.
They have been told they must provide photographic identification to obtain tickets. For similar events in the past this has never been a stipulation.
Two months ago, a series of terror manuals providing step-by-step instructions on how to launch ‘lone wolf’ attacks on the UK and the West were circulated online. They gave detailed advice on bomb-making, assassinations and firearms techniques similar to those deployed by terrorists during attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France.
After the Tunisian beach massacre, in which 38 tourists died, Mr Cameron spoke of the ‘serious threat’ of an attack on home soil. Although there have not been any successful terror attacks in Britain since Lee Rigby was killed outside Woolwich Barracks in May 2013, intelligence chiefs have foiled a number of plots.
Last November, police stopped an alleged plan to launch an attack on Remembrance Sunday after arresting four men in London and High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.
Last month, police chiefs warned officers not to wear their uniforms to and from work as Islamic terrorists were looking to target officers.
In a separate development this newspaper can disclose that British Special Forces are watching migrants in Calais and Dover to detain IS terrorists attempting to enter Britain.
Buckingham Palace spokesman said of the terror plot: ‘It is not something we would comment on.’ A Scotland Yard spokesman declined to comment.