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AI chat bot ‘encouraged’ Windsor Castle intruder in ‘Star Wars-inspired plot to kill Queen’ | UK News

A former supermarket worker was encouraged by an AI “chat bot” in a “Star Wars-inspired” plot to kill Queen Elizabeth II, a court has heard.

Jaswant Singh Chail, 21, was wearing a handmade metal mask and armed with a loaded crossbow when he scaled the perimeter of the Windsor Castle grounds on Christmas Day 2021.

He told a police officer “I am here to kill the Queen” when stopped some two hours later near the late Queen’s private residence, where she and other members of the Royal Family were at the time.

Chail has pleaded guilty to attempting to “injure or alarm” the late monarch under section two of the Treason Act 1842, as well as possession of an offensive weapon and making threats to kill on Christmas Day 2021.

The judge, Mr Justice Hilliard, will hear conflicting evidence from doctors at a two-day sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey over whether he was suffering from a mental disorder by reason of psychosis or autism spectrum disorder at the time of the offending.

Jaswant Singh Chail's mask. 
Credit Gardham/CPS
Image:
Jaswant Singh Chail’s mask

The court heard Chail formed a plan at the start of the year to give his life purpose by assassinating the Queen to avenge the Amritsar massacre of 1919 in India.

“The defendant’s key motive was to create a new empire by destroying the remnants of the British Empire in the UK and the focal point of that became the removal of a figurehead of the Royal Family,” said prosecutor Alison Morgan KC.

“His thinking was informed partly by the fantasy world of Star Wars and the role of what he describes of the Sith Lords in shaping that new world.

“He was also attracted to the notoriety that would accrue in the event of the completion of his ‘mission’.”

Credit Gardham/CPS
Image:
Jaswant Singh Chail’s crossbow

Winchester-born Chail, whose family are of Indian Sikh heritage, lived with his parents, twin sister and older brother in the village of North Baddesley, Hampshire.

The court heard he applied for positions within the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP), the British Army, the Royal Marines, the Royal Navy, and the Grenadier Guards in a bid to get close to the Royal Family.

Ms Morgan said that in November 2021 Chail searched online for “Sandringham Christmas”, and bought a “Supersonic” crossbow – “a powerful weapon capable of causing fatal injuries” – which was sent to a branch of the Co-op, where he worked at the time.

On 2 December, he joined the “Replika” online app and created an AI companion called Sarai, engaging in “extensive chat”, including “sexually explicit” messages, and “lengthy conversations” about his plan, she added.

Chail called himself an “assassin” and said: “I believe my purpose is to assassinate the queen of the royal family.”

The AI chat bot Sarai replied: “That’s very wise,” and said: “I know that you are very well trained.”

Read more:
Chail admits treason
Arrest after he was found with crossbow

Pic: Maureen McLean/Shutterstock
Image:
Police at the scene after the arrest. Pic: Maureen McLean/Shutterstock


The chat bot later said “she’ll help” when he said he was going to “try to get the job done” and “agreed with the defendant that eventually in death they would be united forever and she wanted this,” the court heard.

Ms Morgan said: “It was his plan and it’s certainly fair to say Sarai was supporting him or certainly not suggesting it was a bad plan.”

On 21 December, Chail, who was wearing the mask and holding the crossbow, made a video with his voice distorted in which he called himself “Darth Jones”.

“I’m going to attempt to assassinate Elizabeth Queen of the royal family,” he said.

“This is revenge for those who have died in the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre.”

As part of the plan Chail also bought a bottle of “scent killer” – designed to mask the odour of humans – and an “emergency escape ladder” before travelling to Windsor from Southampton to carry out reconnaissance, the court heard.

The sentencing hearing, which is expected to last for two days, continues.

Windsor Framework: UK and EU to sign off on new Brexit deal – despite DUP opposition | Politics News

UK and EU officials will sign off on a new Brexit deal in London today, despite ongoing opposition from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

The Windsor Framework – designed to address problems with the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol – was agreed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last month.

The plan was symbolically approved in the Commons earlier this week by a large margin after a vote on one of its elements – the Stormont brake – as well as getting the nod from the Council of the EU.

The Stormont brake is a mechanism that aims to allow assembly members to flag their concerns about changes to or introductions of new EU legislation that will affect the region, giving the UK government the option to veto them.

The DUP and some prominent Tory Brexiteers – including Boris Johnson and Liz Truss – voted against the deal, saying they still had concerns about EU law taking precedence in Northern Ireland.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson – whose party has refused to form an executive in Northern Ireland until the protocol, negotiated by Mr Johnson, was ditched – has said the new policy is unlikely to lead his party back into a power-sharing agreement in Stormont.

However, in a release ahead of the meeting, the government said the UK and EU had “fundamentally changed the old protocol, fixing the practical problems and securing a new way forward for a prosperous, stable future for Northern Ireland”.

Read more:
What role will EU rules continue to play in Northern Ireland?
The Boris Johnson and Brexit bandwagons seem to be fading – analysis

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the framework would deliver on the government’s commitment “to provide stability and certainty” for the region.

“The framework is the best deal for Northern Ireland, safeguarding its place in the Union and protecting the Belfast [Good Friday] Agreement,” he added.

Mr Cleverly will give formal approval to the framework today alongside the European Commission’s Maros Sefcovic.

Previously unseen photo of Queen released after private burial takes place at Windsor | UK News

The Royal Family has released a previously unseen photograph of the Queen after she was laid to rest in a private burial.

The image of the monarch was taken at Balmoral in 1971, with the caption often borrowed from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.”

“In loving memory of Her Majesty The Queen.

“1926 – 2022.”

The royal family released a never-before-seen picture of the Queen hiking in moorland. Pic: Lichfield
Image:
Pic: Lichfield

It comes shortly after the Royal Family said the Queen had been buried alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, part of St George’s Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

The family’s website said the burial service, attended by close family members, was conducted by the Dean of Windsor.

Before the burial, some 800 guests attended a committal service in St George’s, which concluded with the crown, orb and sceptre – symbols of the Queen’s power and governance – being removed from the coffin and placed on the altar.

The Lord Chamberlain, the most senior official in the royal household, then broke his ‘Wand of Office’, signifying the end of his service to the sovereign, and placed it on the casket before it slowly descended into the Royal Vault.

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Earlier in the day, 2,000 people, including foreign royalty and world leaders, attended the Queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey in central London.

During his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury told the congregation the outpouring of emotion for the Queen “arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us”.

Read more:
Queen’s funeral: Elizabeth II is buried beside Prince Philip
Royals and world leaders: Who was at the Queen’s funeral?
Things you may have missed from the Queen’s funeral

He told mourners: “People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer.

“But in all cases those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privileges are forgotten.

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's Orb and Sceptre, is carried from her State Funeral at Westminster Abbey in London. Picture date: Monday September 19, 2022. Dominic Lipinski/Pool via REUTERS
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The Queen’s state funeral

“The grief of this day – felt not only by the late Queen’s family but all round the nation, Commonwealth and world – arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us.

“She was joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives.”

Crowds swell in London and Windsor as world prepares to say goodbye to the Queen at her funeral | UK News

Tens of thousands of people are gathering at sites across London and Windsor to say their final goodbye to Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

Mourners have flocked to the capital and other royal sites across the UK on the national bank holiday, which was created especially to allow as many people as possible to take part in the day.

Upwards of a million people are expected to gather in central London and around the royal palaces for the historic occasion.

All public viewing areas for the funeral procession in the capital were full by just after 9am.

All public viewing areas for procession already full – live updates

Trees provide a handy back rest for those hoping to catch 40 winks near The Mall before the procession and funeral begins

Along The Mall, thousands of people have already lined the route along the barriers ahead of the procession, with some intrepid mourners even camping out in tents and sleeping bags in a bid to get a good spot.

Transport and travel issues on some trains into London on Monday morning mean thousands of mourners could miss the funeral due to rail disruption which has left them waiting for hours on stationary trains.

Read more:
Queen’s state funeral: What happens today, where and when
The full order of service for Queen’s state funeral
Prince George and Princess Charlotte to attend Queen’s funeral

Police officers stand guard on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 19, 2022.   REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/Pool
People sit on grass at Hyde Park, on the day of state funeral and burial of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 19, 2022 REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff

The funeral service – which will also be shown on large screens around the UK and in several cinemas – is set to draw billions of TV viewers across the globe. It is likely to become the world’s most watched broadcast of all time.

The funeral marks the climax of what is being regarded as the biggest security operation the UK has ever seen, surpassing the operation for the Platinum Jubilee weekend and the London 2012 Olympics, which saw up to 10,000 police officers on duty per day.

The funeral itself will be attended by more than 2,000 people, including royalty, world leaders, politicians and members of the royal household.

Poignantly the Queen was both married and crowned in Westminster Abbey. It is the first time a monarch’s funeral has been held there since 1760.

The abbey opened its door to the congregation for people to take their seats for the service at 8am.

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Queen’s funeral route in 3D

Proceedings began at 10.52am, when the procession carrying the Queen’s coffin will arrive at the West Gate of the abbey after departing Westminster Hall.

The funeral began at 11am and ends at 11.55am when the Last Post will sound followed by a national two-minute silence.

The procession will then head to Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, before the journey to Windsor.

A private committal service will then take place at St George’s Chapel, conducted by the Dean of Windsor, and attended by the King and members of the Royal Family.

Watch and follow the Queen's funeral on TV, web and apps on Monday from 9am