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Crossbow-Wielding Intruder Allegedly Said He Stormed Windsor Castle To Kill Queen Elizabeth

Hours before Jaswanda Singh Chail allegedly breached the royal residence on Christmas morning, a video on his phone showed a masked person announcing their intent to assassinate the queen.

By Jax Miller
Queen Elizabeth II attends the Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Windsor Cup polo match

The man accused of storming the grounds of Windsor Castle on Christmas morning allegedly told arresting officers he planned to kill Queen Elizabeth.

Accused would-be assassin Jaswant Singh Chail, 20, has been charged under the Treason Act for breaching the Windsor Castle grounds armed with a high-powered crossbow. Hours before the offense, Chail allegedly created a Snapshot video in which he appeared in a mask and announced his intentions to kill Queen Elizabeth II.

Chail, of Southampton, England, is currently housed at the Broadmoor psychiatric hospital in Berkshire and appeared remotely at the Westminster magistrate’s court Wednesday morning, according to The Guardian.

Appearing from Broadmoor via video, Chail said little more than confirming his name, date of birth and current location.

Prosecutors said Chail was spotted on the grounds of Windsor Castle at around 8:10 a.m. on Christmas day last year. He was allegedly armed with a Supersonic X-bow, a weapon capable of causing “serious or fatal injuries,” the court heard.

Queen Elizabeth II, 96, was celebrating Christmas at the royal residence with her son Charles, Prince of Wales, and daughter-in-law, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Her other son, Prince Edward, and daughter-in-law, Sophie Rhys-Jones — the Earl and Countess of Wessex — were due to meet with the Queen for lunch later in the day.

Chail was arrested on castle grounds at around 8:30 a.m. The Metropolitan Police Services said that they were able to apprehend the suspect before he could enter any buildings, according to BBC.

No one was harmed.

On Wednesday, the court heard that Chail allegedly told a protection officer just before his arrest, “I am here to kill the Queen,” BBC reported.

The sentiment is reflected in a video that allegedly came from Chail’s phone and was uploaded to Snapchat hours before the security breach. The video showed someone in a Star Wars-themed mask and a distorted voice announcing plans to avenge the hundreds of deaths from a colonial British military attack on trapped Indian civilians in April 1919.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry for what I’ve done and what I will do,” said the masked person. “I will attempt to assassinate Elizabeth, Queen of the Royal Family. This is revenge for those who have died in the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. It is also revenge for those who have been killed, humiliated and discriminated on because of their race.”

Chail’s charges fall under the Treason Act, according to the Guardian, and were brought by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, though prosecutors on Wednesday said they were not treating Chail’s offenses as terrorism.

He also faces separate criminal charges, including making threats to kill and possession of a weapon.

Charges under the 1842 Treason Act are rare. According to the Guardian, Chail is the first person to be jailed under the offense since 1981, when Marcus Sarjeant pleaded guilty to firing blanks at the Queen as she made an appearance at a London mall.

Chail has not yet been asked to enter a plea. He was remanded into custody and is scheduled to appear at the Old Bailey on Sept. 14.

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre was committed in April 1919, after the British Brigadier General in India, Reginald Dyer, had declared martial law and prohibited public gatherings in the sacred Sikh city of Amritsar, which was due to host tens of thousands of Indians on April 13 for the Baisakhi spring harvest festival. When 10,000 or more celebrants had gathered on the Jallianwala Bagh, a large garden area enclosed on all four sides with several narrow, often-locked entrances, British troops blocked the main entrance and shot at the thousand of people they'd trapped there until their ammunition was exhausted. At least 379 people and more than 1,500 others were injured.

Dyer was eventually disciplined by losing his next command assignment and was prohibited from serving in India. The Lieutenant Governor of Punjab at the time, Michael O'Dwyer — who had approved of the action — was assassinated in London in 1940 by an Indian independence activist who'd been shot in the massacre.

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