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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Seven with Al Qaeda links on trial in UK for plotting terror campaign - one worked for gas and electricity supplier

Seven with Al Qaeda links on trial in UK for plotting terror campaign - one worked for gas and electricity supplier

Convicted terrorist jailed in US Muhammed Babar set to testify at trial
March 22, 2006

Seven with alleged al-Qaida links deny plotting terror bomb campaign

Men arrested before finalising target, says QC
Defendants had gathered components, court told

Rosie Cowan, crime correspondent
Wednesday March 22, 2006
The Guardian


http://www.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/0,,1736523,00.html?gusrc=rss

Seven British men with alleged links to al-Qaida plotted to carry out a terrorist campaign in the UK with homemade explosives containing more than half a tonne of fertiliser, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

The defendants, mainly of Pakistani descent, had most of the necessary bomb-making components ready but were arrested in March 2004 before they had finalised a target, said David Waters QC, opening the prosecution case.

One of the accused, Omar Khyam, had discussed potential attacks on pubs, nightclubs or trains, and it was significant that another, Waheed Mahmood, worked for a major gas and electricity supplier, according to Mr Waters.

Most of the gang are accused of having undergone training at terrorist camps in Pakistan in the past few years. And they all "played their respective roles" in the plan to make a bomb or bombs, which would be used "to kill or injure citizens of the UK", said Mr Waters.

Khyam, 24, Jawad Akbar, 22, Waheed Mahmood, 33, and Shujah Mahmood, 18, all from Crawley, West Sussex; Anthony Garcia, 27, from Ilford, Essex; Nabeel Hussain, 20, from Horley, Surrey; and Salahuddin Amin, 30, from Luton, Bedfordshire, are charged with conspiracy to cause explosions with intent to endanger life. Khyam, Garcia and Hussain are accused of possessing 600kg of ammonium nitrate fertiliser - discovered by police in a storage unit in west London - for terrorist purposes, and Khyam and Shujah Mahmood are charged with possessing aluminium powder, which can also be used to make bombs. All seven defendants, who sat in the dock flanked by 11 prison officers, deny the charges.

Mr Waters said the court would hear details about another conspirator, Momin Khawaja, currently awaiting trial in Canada, who had a "vital role" in this plot.

A US citizen, Mohammed Babar, who has already admitted his part in the "British bomb plot", will testify at the Old Bailey in a few days' time.

The prosecutor said Babar had pleaded guilty in the US to obtaining ammonium nitrate and aluminium powder for use in UK bomb attacks. Babar, who lived in Pakistan from 2001 to 2004, has been given immunity from prosecution, the court heard.

Training

Most of the defendants, whom Babar called the "Crawley lot", visited him there, where they underwent terrorist training in explosives techniques and worked out how to get bomb components and bring them to the UK.

Khyam and Amin both told Babar they worked for a man called Abdul Hadi, whom they claimed was "number three in al-Qaida".

Khyam, whom Mr Waters described as "very much at the centre of operations", said he wanted to carry out operations in the UK because it was as yet unscathed and should be hit because of its support for the US.

"The majority of that contact [with Babar] was in Pakistan and it involved, for the most part, one theme - the acquisition of training and expertise, particularly in relation to explosives," said Mr Waters.

Babar alleges that he first met Waheed Mahmood at the end of 2001, and later learned he was an al-Qaida supporter. He met Khyam in November 2002, while on a fund-raising trip to England.

Later, in Pakistan in 2003, Babar, Khyam and Amin discussed transporting detonators back to the UK, and small radios were bought so the detonators could be hidden inside, the court heard.

Babar had obtained aluminium powder at Khyam's request and later found out ammonium nitrate was being kept in his flat in Lahore, where Khyam was staying.

Khyam and Amin received two days training in explosives theory and practice in a house in Kohat, Pakistan, and in July 2003 Khyam and his brother Shujah went to a terrorist training camp in Kalam.

Experience

The Old Bailey heard that Garcia also attended, and used his experience to teach others how to dismantle and reassemble weapons. Akbar later joined them. Ammonium nitrate and aluminium powder were taken to the camp and they carried out experiments, one of which blew a hole in the ground, even though they used less than 1kg of ammonium nitrate.

The defendants, who returned to England later in 2003, adopted several measures to avoid detection, including using false names. Waheed Mahmood stressed that laptops and mobile phones should be disposed of on a regular basis and Khyam and Babar used code in their emails, for example "cigarettes" meant "detonators".

But they were arrested on March 30 2004, following a seven-week undercover surveillance operation by Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist and special branch squads and the security services. Bugs were placed at an address where Khyam was staying in Slough, Berkshire, and Akbar's then home in Uxbridge, west London, and in Khyam's car, and the suspects, including Khawaja who came to England for a weekend in February 2004, were followed and taped.

The trial, which is expected to last at least six months, continues.




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http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article352740.ece

Court told of terror gang's plan for bomb campaign

By Jason Bennetto, Crime Correspondent

Published: 22 March 2006

A gang of British Islamic extremists was planning a dramatic bombing campaign in the UK in 2004, possibly against pubs, nightclubs, trains, or power plants, a court was told yesterday. Two of the seven-strong terrorist team from the south of England were working for al-Qa'ida's third in command, the Old Bailey heard.

But the gang, some of whom were taught how to make fertiliser bombs at training camps in Pakistan, were foiled after a major MI5 and police surveillance operation, a jury was told.

The British-based terror team had aimed to kill and maim UK citizens with a massive 600kg fertiliser bomb partly as revenge for this country's support of the United States, it is claimed.

The accused, all of whom are British citizens, are: Omar Khyam, 24, Waheed Mahmood, 34, Shujah Mahmood, 19, and Jawad Akbar, 22, all from Crawley, West Sussex; Anthony Garcia (also known as Rahman Adam), 23, of Ilford, east London; Nabeel Hussain, 20, of Horley, Surrey; and Salahuddin Amin, 31, from Luton, Bedfordshire.

They deny conspiring between January 2003 and March 2004, with Mohammed Momin Khawaja, a Canadian, and with others unknown, to "cause by explosive substances, an explosion or explosions of a nature likely to endanger life".

Mr Khyam, Mr Garcia and Mr Hussain also deny a charge under the Terrorism Act 2000 of possession an article for terrorism - 600kg of ammonium nitrate fertiliser - between 5 November 2003 and 31 March 2004 at a west London storage depot.

Mr Khyam and Shujah Mahmood are further accused of possessing aluminium powder for purposes connected with terrorism between October 2003 and March 2004.

Opening the prosecution case at the start of their trial, which is expected to last six months, David Waters QC said: "[The defendants] played their respective roles in a plan to acquire the ingredients necessary to manufacture a bomb or bombs which would be deployed at the very least to destroy strategic [power] plant within the United Kingdom, or more realistically to kill and injure citizens of the UK."

Mr Waters told the jury the explosion or explosions were to take place in the UK but a great deal of the preparation was to be made in Pakistan and in Canada.

Mr Khyam, who is accused of being one of the ringleaders, is accused of telling an American who has already pleaded guilty in the United States to a British bomb plot, "that he wanted to do operations in the UK".

The court heard that no final target had been chosen, although one of the defendants, Waheed Mahmood, had been working for National Grid Transco, the company operates the high voltage electricity system in England and Wales and the high pressure gas system in Britain.

The prosecutor added that Mr Khyam told the American, Mohammed Babar, his motivation was that "the UK was unscathed, it needed to be hit because of its support for the US".

Mr Khyam, Mr Amin and un-named "brothers" were working for al-Qa'ida's third in command, a man named Abdul Hadi, the court was told. Another of the defendants, Mr Waheed, was recorded telling the Mr Babar that he "couldn't understand why people were coming all the way to Pakistan or Afghanistan to fight when they should be fighting Jihad in the Uk and conducting operations there," Mr Waters told the jury.

As part of a huge surveillance operation by MI5, Special Branch and the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist squad listening bugs were placed at an address where Mr Khyam was staying in Slough, Berkshire, and at Mr Akbar's then home in Uxbridge, west London. Another listening device was placed in Mr Khyam's car. The alleged terrorist team were arrested on 30 March 2004.

The trial continues.

A gang of British Islamic extremists was planning a dramatic bombing campaign in the UK in 2004, possibly against pubs, nightclubs, trains, or power plants, a court was told yesterday. Two of the seven-strong terrorist team from the south of England were working for al-Qa'ida's third in command, the Old Bailey heard.

But the gang, some of whom were taught how to make fertiliser bombs at training camps in Pakistan, were foiled after a major MI5 and police surveillance operation, a jury was told.

The British-based terror team had aimed to kill and maim UK citizens with a massive 600kg fertiliser bomb partly as revenge for this country's support of the United States, it is claimed.

The accused, all of whom are British citizens, are: Omar Khyam, 24, Waheed Mahmood, 34, Shujah Mahmood, 19, and Jawad Akbar, 22, all from Crawley, West Sussex; Anthony Garcia (also known as Rahman Adam), 23, of Ilford, east London; Nabeel Hussain, 20, of Horley, Surrey; and Salahuddin Amin, 31, from Luton, Bedfordshire.

They deny conspiring between January 2003 and March 2004, with Mohammed Momin Khawaja, a Canadian, and with others unknown, to "cause by explosive substances, an explosion or explosions of a nature likely to endanger life".

Mr Khyam, Mr Garcia and Mr Hussain also deny a charge under the Terrorism Act 2000 of possession an article for terrorism - 600kg of ammonium nitrate fertiliser - between 5 November 2003 and 31 March 2004 at a west London storage depot.

Mr Khyam and Shujah Mahmood are further accused of possessing aluminium powder for purposes connected with terrorism between October 2003 and March 2004.

Opening the prosecution case at the start of their trial, which is expected to last six months, David Waters QC said: "[The defendants] played their respective roles in a plan to acquire the ingredients necessary to manufacture a bomb or bombs which would be deployed at the very least to destroy strategic [power] plant within the United Kingdom, or more realistically to kill and injure citizens of the UK."

Mr Waters told the jury the explosion or explosions were to take place in the UK but a great deal of the preparation was to be made in Pakistan and in Canada.

Mr Khyam, who is accused of being one of the ringleaders, is accused of telling an American who has already pleaded guilty in the United States to a British bomb plot, "that he wanted to do operations in the UK".

The court heard that no final target had been chosen, although one of the defendants, Waheed Mahmood, had been working for National Grid Transco, the company operates the high voltage electricity system in England and Wales and the high pressure gas system in Britain.

The prosecutor added that Mr Khyam told the American, Mohammed Babar, his motivation was that "the UK was unscathed, it needed to be hit because of its support for the US".

Mr Khyam, Mr Amin and un-named "brothers" were working for al-Qa'ida's third in command, a man named Abdul Hadi, the court was told. Another of the defendants, Mr Waheed, was recorded telling the Mr Babar that he "couldn't understand why people were coming all the way to Pakistan or Afghanistan to fight when they should be fighting Jihad in the Uk and conducting operations there," Mr Waters told the jury.

As part of a huge surveillance operation by MI5, Special Branch and the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist squad listening bugs were placed at an address where Mr Khyam was staying in Slough, Berkshire, and at Mr Akbar's then home in Uxbridge, west London. Another listening device was placed in Mr Khyam's car. The alleged terrorist team were arrested on 30 March 2004.

The trial continues.

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