Haroon Ali-Syed allegedly attempted to obtain weapons online, including an explosive device, between April and September this year, with a view to launching an assault on a busy area of the capital.
It is believed that Oxford Street and military bases were among the targets the 19-year-old had allegedly considered as a location for the attack.
Mr Ali-Syed was arrested last Thursday (September 8) and later charged with the intention of committing acts of terrorism engaged in conduct in preparation for giving effect to that intention.
He appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday (September 13) dressed in grey, and spoke only to confirm his name, age and address during the 11-minute hearing.
District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe told the defendant he was to be remanded in custody until a hearing next Monday (September 19) at the Old Bailey.
Two other men arrested at the same time have been released on police bail pending further investigation.