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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > UK Muslim on trial was senior Al Qaeda leader directed terrorism for years

UK Muslim on trial was senior Al Qaeda leader directed terrorism for years

September 25, 2008

British Muslim was senior al-Qaeda leader, court told

A British Muslim was a senior al-Qaeda leader who kept a terrorist contact book containing telephone numbers and emails written in invisible ink, a court has heard.

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent
Last Updated: 11:50PM BST 24 Sep 2008
Published 25 Sep 2008
The Daily Telegraph (London)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3073727/British-Muslim-was-senior-al-Qaeda-leader-court-told.html

Habib Ahmed (left) and Raingzieb Ahmed Habib Ahmed (left) and Raingzieb Ahmed Photo: PA

Rangzieb Ahmed, 33, from Manchester is accused of directing terrorism between April 2004 and Aug 2006.

He allegedly travelled from Pakistan to Dubai where he met an associate in a hotel room to hand over three terrorist contact books containing telephone numbers and emails written in invisible ink.

The other man, Habib Ahmed, 28, flew back to Britain separately but his luggage was secretly opened as he passed through Schipol airport in Amsterdam and the alleged code books discovered.

The security services followed the men around Manchester where they watched them holding meetings and bugged Habib's taxi and another vehicle, the court heard.

Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting, told Manchester Crown Court: "The prosecution say that Rangzieb Ahmed was a member of al-Qaeda and an important member of al-Qaeda who was in a position to direct some of its activities."

He said Rangzieb had travelled to Dubai intending to travel on to South Africa but was diverted to Britain when something went wrong.

"He was travelling on important al-Qaeda business," Mr Edis said and Habib had flown out to help him.

The men's conversation in Dubai was secretly recorded and Rangzieb gave Habib a Filofax and two exercise books to carry back to Britain, the court heard.

"They contained information in invisible ink," Mr Edis said. "The prosecution say these books contained information of considerable importance to a terrorist which allows the terrorist to communicate secretly by email and telephone - a contact book for a terrorist."

From Dubai the men flew separately to Britain arriving around Christmas 2005, the court heard.

"During that time he held meetings with al-Qaeda contacts, assisted by Habib Ahmed.

"He was an important al-Qaeda man at that time and in this country and it was important for members of the organisation, including Habib Ahmed to help him," Mr Edis said.

Listening devices were put in two cars, including a taxi driven by Habib Ahmed, the court heard, which monitored conversations between December 2005 and July 2006.

Rangzieb left for Pakistan in January 2006 and Habib followed in April 2006.

"He went to a training camp in Pakistan to be trained further to be an active terrorist, trained in explosives."

While in Pakistan, Habib's wife, Mehreen Haji, 28, sent a total of 4,000 in two payments, allegedly to support his activities.

The court heard that Rangzieb, who was jailed in India for seven years after illegally crossing the border, admits to being a member of the group Harakat ul-Mujahideen, described as a Kashmiri terrorist group, but denies being a member of al-Qaeda.

He was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, but spent most of his childhood in Pakistan after a family split and only returned to Britain after his release from jail in May 2001, leaving again three years later without telling his family where he was going.

Habib Ahmed is said to claim he associated with Rangzieb because he was working as a journalist.

His wife is said to accept that she sent him money but did not know it was for terrorist purposes.

When the pair, who have two children, were arrested in August 2006 and their home searched, police found material from the disbanded group al-Muhajiroun and a photograph of its leader Omar Bakri Mohammed speaking during their wedding.

"This is not a trial about ideas, it is a trial about terrorism," Mr Edis said. "It is not simply having ideas but taking steps to implement those ideas by participating in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism."

Rangzieb is accused of directing the activities of a terrorist organisation, possessing articles for terrorism and possessing a rucksack with traces of explosives.

Habib is accused of possessing information for terrorism and receiving terrorist training in Pakistan.

Haji is accused of arranging funding for terrorism.

They deny the charges and the trial continues.

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Al-Qaeda terrorist cell 'researched Tony Blair's friends'

An al-Qaeda terrorist cell researched targets including military bases, the Defence Secretary and friends of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, a court has heard.

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent
Last Updated: 4:36PM BST 25 Sep 2008
The Daily Telegraph (London)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3080047/Al-Qaeda-terrorist-cell-researched-Tony-Blairs-friends.html

Habib Ahmed (left) and Raingzieb Ahmed Habib Ahmed (left) and Raingzieb Ahmed who are linked to al-Quaeda are facing terrorist charges Photo: PA

Habib Ahmed had allegedly looked for the address of Geoff Hoon, then Defence Secretary, and researched his constituency, using a computer at his home in Cheetham Hill, Manchester.

He had also looked at a web site which gave details of Sir Trevor Chinn, the chief executive of Lex Services, who was described in court as someone "close to Tony Blair who was then Prime Minister."

Ahmed was said to have downloaded a document called "a study of assassination" and looked at grenades and how hydrogen peroxide and TATP could be used in homemade bombs along with chemical companies in Manchester.

"This is information that is entirely consistent with searching for suitable targets," said Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting.

He said Habib had been called to Dubai two years later in December 2005 to help a senior al-Qaeda operator who had to divert to Britain when his mission was aborted after the assassination of his senior commander.

Rangzieb Ahmed was travelling from the tribal areas of Pakistan, through China, to South Africa when his mission was cancelled, Manchester Crown Court was told.

The court heard that Habib was sent back to Britain with a code book written in invisible ink given to him by Rangzieb, described as a senior member of al-Qaeda.

The men's conversation in the hotel room in Dubai had been bugged but Mr Edis said: "It is clear that they were member of a terrorist organisation but precisely what that target was was not disclosed by the probe."

The code book allegedly included phone numbers for Hamza Rabia, described as the number three in al-Qaeda and its director of operations who was killed a few days earlier.

Other numbers were said to have included Khalid Habib, described as al-Qaeda's number six and a senior bomb-maker and Mamoun Darkazanli, a suspected terrorist financer allegedly connected with the Madrid train bombings.

"It is the prosecution case that Hamza Rabia was supposed to be the controller of the mission that Rangzieb Ahmed was on and he got killed and that was part of the problem and that is why there never was a mission," Mr Edis said.

According to the prosecution, Habib had previously looked at information which included members of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorism squad, including its then leader, Assistant Commissioner David Venesss, and a further search had looked at Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, then head of MI5.

A list supplied by the Defence Housing Executive gave the addresses and phone numbers of military bases around the country, and another gave details of RAF Mildenhall and Lakenheath, described in the document as "proudly serving American military communities in the UK" while another contained details of Whale Island in Portsmouth, a Royal Navy training college.

There were also details of the Russian Embassy in Kensington, West London and the Indian defence attache in London, both the object of Muslim anger after wars in Chechnya and Kashmir, the court heard.

"One of the reasons you might want to know where [the embassy] is is because you want to blow it up and you might want to know who these people are to kill them," said Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting.

Rangzieb is accused of directing the activities of a terrorist organisation, possessing articles for terrorism and possessing a rucksack with traces of explosives.

Habib is accused of possessing information for terrorism and receiving terrorist training in Pakistan.

Haji is accused of arranging funding for terrorism.

They deny the charges and the trial continues.


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