Member of UK terror cell joked about blowing up parliament -was happy about 9/-attended meetings of Al Muhajiroun
September 15, 2006
UK terror suspect joked of bombing Parliament 4.48, Fri Sep 15 2006 http://www.itv.com/news/britain_5b6d9e5b26b5ace3d8f3c0ec8cec6942.html
An alleged member of a British terror cell accused of planning a series of attacks in the UK has admitted he talked of bombing Parliament but that it was a "joke".
Omar Khyam, 24, is accused of being a part of a UK-based al-Qaeda linked group which discussed bombing The Ministry of Sound nightclub in London and Bluewater shopping centre in Kent.
He was arrested with six other men in 2004 after fertiliser explosive was found in a storage depot in west London.
At his trial at the Old Bailey, Khyam said he was watching Prime Minister's questions on TV with a number of other people in Pakistan when he said "can you imagine if you dropped a bomb right there and then? You would take out all the MPs". He went on to deny it was a serious suggestion.
Asked what the reaction of the others was, he said: "They just laughed."
Khyam told the court that in January 2003, he was in England and turned to fraud to raise money "for the cause" in Pakistan, applying for a £16,000 bank loan which he did not intend to repay.
The idea was to "take as much as possible" before his next trip to Pakistan. Four other men who were going with him were doing the same thing.
Another fraud involved buying building supplies using the trade name Goldberg, selling the materials to others for half price.
He later bought the company name Goldreed because "it sounded Jewish". Khyam and his friends said they "found it funny".
Yesterday, he told the Old Bailey he was pleased at the September 11 attacks. He said: "America was, and still is, the greatest enemy of Islam. They put up puppet regimes in Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt.
"I was happy that America had been hit because of what it represented against the Muslims, but obviously 3,000 people died so there were mixed feelings."
Recalling his childhood, he said he went to a predominantly white school, was captain of the cricket team and did well in his GCSEs.
But described becoming more interested in religion as a teenager and attended meetings locally of a radical group, Al Muhajiroun.
Khyam, his brother Shujah Mahmood, 19, Waheed Mahmood, 34, and Jawad Akbar, 23, all from Crawley, Salahuddin Amin, 31, from Luton, Beds, Anthony Garcia, 24, of Ilford, east London, and Nabeel Hussain, 21, of Horley, Surrey, deny conspiring to cause explosions likely to endanger life between January 1, 2003 and March 31, 2004.
Khyam, Garcia and Hussain also deny a charge under the Terrorism Act of possessing 600kg (1,300lb) of ammonium nitrate fertiliser for terrorism.
Khyam and Shujah Mahmood further deny possessing aluminium powder for terrorism.Sep 14: UK terror suspect 'happy' over 9/11
Aug 22: Terror suspects quizzed over airline plot