Hindu born terrorist convert to Islam 'plotted to kill thousands' by flooding subways & detonating dirty bombs in UK and US
November 6, 2006
Briton 'plotted to kill thousands'
A British al Qaida terrorist planned to cause death and destruction on a "massive scale" in terror atrocities on both sides of the Atlantic, a court has heard.
Muslim convert Dhiren Barot led a conspiracy to cause mass murder - and details of his extraordinary plans emerged for the first time at his sentencing hearing.
The former north London schoolboy's plans included an audacious plot to flood the Tube network by detonating a bomb under the River Thames. In his own words, Barot, 34, from north-west London, plotted to mastermind a "black day for the enemies of Islam and a victory for the Muslims".
His intention was to cause the "loss of human life on a massive scale", Woolwich Crown Court was told.
Opening the sentencing against Barot, Edmund Lawson QC, for the Crown, said: "The plan was to carry out massive explosions here and in the USA. The principal object being to kill hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent people without warning."
Barot, who admitted conspiracy to murder last month, was "the organiser of major terrorist activity designed to strike at the very heart of both America and the UK," Mr Lawson said.
In the US, he plotted to destroy several key financial institutions in New York, Washington and Newark, by detonating explosives-packed limousines in their underground car parks or hijacking petrol tankers and setting them ablaze. He also considered the use of aeroplanes.
The court heard that in Britain, Barot planned to kill thousands in September 11-style synchronised attacks, which could have included the use of a dirty bomb, a gas attack on the Heathrow Express and using stretch limousines in a bombing campaign.
Potential targets for terrorist activity included some of London's leading hotels, such as the Savoy, and the city's busiest mainline stations; Waterloo, Paddington and King's Cross. One of his evil plots was to blow up a Tube train as it passed underneath the River Thames, drowning potentially hundreds of commuters and flooding the network.
The court had earlier heard that by pleading guilty Barot had made no admission with regard to any of his seven co-defendants. Seven other men, who deny involvement, are due to stand trial next year. Barot is expected to be sentenced on Tuesday.
Terror plotter sought to enlist West's MuslimsGroup compiled meticulous plans for attacks against several U.S. financial centers, British prosecutors say.
By Kim Murphy
November 7, 2006
LONDON — A former British airline ticket agent who plotted to blow up the New York Stock Exchange and other U.S. targets once urged Muslims living in the West to carry out attacks on the economies of "all interfering nations," prosecutors said Monday.
Dhiren Barot, a 34-year-old Muslim convert who faces sentencing after pleading guilty last month to one count of murder conspiracy, had called for "destabilizing" attacks on Western targets and said they could best be carried out by Muslim residents, prosecutor Edmund Lawson told a court here.
"The indigenous believers that reside in these meddling countries, however, can only do this. For it is they, the locals, and not the foreigners, who understand the culture, area and common practices of the enemy whom they coexist amongst," Barot wrote in his book "The Army of Madinah in Kashmir," published under the pseudonym Esa al-Hindi in 1999. A prosecutor read the passage in court.
Monday's hearing provided the first detailed look at a plot that authorities said was aimed at drafting British Muslims to organize terrorist attacks on financial targets in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. The plotters also hoped to explode gas-cylinder-laden limousines in underground parking garages in Britain.
The prosecution's case revealed a group that was scrupulous in its research and wide-ranging in its malignant curiosity.
The militants pondered the effects of various kinds of poisons, how to explode a radioactive dirty bomb without killing the attacker before he could deliver the charge, where a bridge needed to be hit to bring it down, and whether it would be possible to blow up a subway under the Thames River.
"Imagine the chaos that would be caused if a powerful explosion were to rip through here and actually rupture the river itself," Barot wrote in one of the records seized after his arrest. "This would cause pandemonium, what with the explosions, flooding, drowning, etc., that would occur."
Barot sought to emulate what he saw as "the definitive accident," the 2004 Madrid train bombings, and envisioned what he described as a coordinated series of attacks "forming another memorable black day for the enemies of Islam."
Seven codefendants who face trial in April were allegedly working under Barot's leadership in a plot that Lawson said was "designed to strike at the very heart of both America and this country, and to cause the loss of human life on a massive scale."
Not until this week have prosecutors revealed the range and sophistication of the plot, under which Barot and his self-described sleeper cell prepared a prospectus on how to destroy the four proposed U.S. targets: the New York Stock Exchange and Citigroup headquarters in Manhattan; the Prudential building in Newark, N.J.; and the International Monetary Fund in Washington.
The reports are laid out in what Lawson said resembled a "business plan," in the form of tables, charts, summaries and bullets.
They look at the history and design of each building, the number of employees, biographies of key executives, security systems and layout, what brand of uniforms the security guards wear, structural weaknesses, and the pros and cons of potential methods of attack. Traffic and pedestrian flows around the buildings are noted, along with nearby schools and potential escape routes for those planting bombs or setting fires.
The first of the reports on the U.S. targets, found embedded in an encrypted DVD file labeled "peachy," was created Sept. 2, 2001.
The reports were updated on 42 occasions through 2003, when the plotters appeared to turn their attention to targets in Britain.
Investigators also discovered 80 minutes of videotape tacked on to the end of a movie, "Die Hard: With a Vengeance." The added footage features panoramic shots of various buildings and a synagogue in New York's financial district.
Prosecutors said Barot was thought to have shot the footage during at least two scouting trips to the U.S. paid for through a regular flow of thousands of dollars of cash from unknown sources.
During one trip, Barot took a helicopter flight over Manhattan with other tourists, Lawson said.
In one video played in court, shot five months before the Sept. 11 attacks, the World Trade Center is shown sideways, while someone makes the sound of an explosion; then the camera pans to another building.
Barot's guilty plea carries a potential penalty of life in prison, with the sentence to be imposed at the end of a second day of hearings today. He also faces indictment in the U.S. on a charge of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.