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Jury out in biggest UK terror trial in history - full details

Posted By Director On March 17, 2007 @ 10:42 am In Arrests/Convictions,United Kingdom | Comments Disabled

Principal prosecution witness is admitted terrorist from New York; terror suspects had Canadian accomplice

17 March 2007: The jury of the seven-(7) Islamic terror suspects in the UK is presently considering their guilt after nearly a year of testimony. The trial began on 21 March 2006, and is the longest and most expensive terrorism trial ever held in Great Britain.

The suspects, Omar KHYAM, 26 his brother Shujah MAHMOOD, 20, Waheed MAHMOOD, 34, Anthony GARCIA, 25, Jawar AKBAR, 23, Nabeel HUSSAIN, 21 and Salahuddin AMIN, 31 are charged with conspiring to cause explosions likely to endanger life between 1 January 2003 and 31 March 2004. KHYAM, GARCIA and HUSSAIN are also charged under the Terrorism Act of possessing about 1300 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer for the construction of bombs used for terrorist purposes. [Click "read more" above for complete article & case details "at a glance."]

The defendants were arrested in 2004 after the 1300 pounds of ammonium nitrate was found inside a storage locker in west London. According to the information developed by the prosecution, the defendants were planning on destroying the Bluewater shopping center in Kent and London’s Ministry of Sound. Other potential targets included Jewish synagogues, gas, water and electricity supply stations, trains, and popular taverns in the London area. According to the prosecution, the defendants were prepared to act on their plans and they only needed to agree on the targets. According to court documents, one of the defendants talked of poisoning football fans by selling contaminated food and drinks at games. Waheed MAHMOOD claimed that he could sell poisoned food and beverages from a food van outside of a stadium.

It was also revealed that the terror defendants were in possession of remote-controlled detonators supplied by a Canadian fellow Muslim terrorist identified as Mohammed Momin KHAWAJA., The detonators supplied by KHAWAJA were said to be capable of exploding a device at a range in excess of a mile.

Their defendants claim that the main witness against them, a man convicted of terrorism in the U.S. is lying in return for a reduced sentence. The main prosecution witness in the case is Mohammed BABAR, a Pakistan-born American who admitted to terrorism-related offenses in New York. BABAR reportedly met some of those involved in the suspected conspiracy, dubbed the “British Bomb Plot” by US officials, at training camps in Pakistan. Two of the suspects had been part of a cell receiving explosives training and had been under the orders of al-Qaeda’s third-in-command, a man identified as Abdul HADI.

Police arrested the suspects about 16 months before four Muslim terrorists carried out suicide bombings on London’s transport system in July 2005, killing 52 commuters and wounding scores of others.

DETAILS AT A GLANCEThe Defendants: (all of Pakistani descent)

Omar KHYAM, 26:
Anthony GARCIA, 25 (also known as Rahman ADAM);
Salahuddin AMIN, 31;
Nabeel HUSSAIN, 21;
Jawad AKBAR, 23;
Waheed MAHMOOD, 34, and Shujah Mahmood, 20 (brothers)

AMIN and KHYAM are also alleged to have received training in Pakistan in how to make the toxin RICIN.

Canadian accomplice: Mohammed Momin KHAWAJA
American accomplice: Mohammed BABAR has pleaded guilty in the United States and will be a witness for the prosecution.

Profile: Mohammad Momin KHAWAJA

Mohammad Momin KHAWAJA, 26, employed as a contractor for a computer software operator for the Foreign Affairs Department, was the first Canadian man charged under the Anti-terrorism Act. Arrested on March 29, 2004, KHAWAJA is accused of participating in the activities of a terrorist group, and facilitating a terrorist activity. The RCMP raided KHAWAJA’s house in Orleans, a suburb of Ottawa, and his workplace. The charges allege that terrorist activities took place in London, England, and Ottawa between November 2003 and March 29, 2004, during which Khawaja made numerous trips to London.

Mohammad Momin Khawaja at a glance:* 26 years old.
* Born in Canada to Pakistani immigrants, April 14, 1979.
* He has 3 brothers and one sister.
* Went to Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School.
* Studied computer programming at Algonquin College, given a placement in HRDC offices in Gatineau in 2000.
* Worked as a software developer with a contract at Foreign Affairs (no access to classified documents).
* Mother, Azra, lives in Orleans.
* His father, Mahboob Khawaja, is in Saudi Arabia working at a technical college. Since moving to Canada he has published several books and papers critical of western influence on Mideast politics.

Profile: Mohammed Junaid BABAR

Babar, 31, is a naturalized American citizen originally from Pakistan. He pleaded guilty on June 2, 2004 in New York to five counts of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

Born in Pakistan and taken to the US when he was two, he lived in Queens, New York with his father, brother and sister. He studied pharmacy at university in New York and said he had planned to go on to medical school but dropped out after a year and worked instead as a security guard and car park attendant.

On September 11, Babar said his mother had been working in the first tower of the World Trade Center but escaped unharmed.

Babar left the United States, where he was brought up, less than two weeks after the September 11 attacks, aiming to join the fight against America in Afghanistan. He flew to London , where he met the British leader of Al-Muhajiroun and collected money for his trip to Afghanistan. In London, BABAR attended a protest outside the Pakistan High Commission and met Bakri Mohammed at his office.

Mohammed Babar admitted to reading lectures by terrorists Hamza, the former Imam of Finsbury Park mosque who was jailed earlier this year, and Bakri Mohammed on the Internet; he met personally with Bakri in Britain.

He said his strong political beliefs had hardened in the wake of the first Gulf war in 1991 and he had decided to join groups that shared his views, including Hizb-ut-Tahrir and Al-Muhajiroun.

Babar provided night-vision goggles, sleeping bags, waterproof socks, waterproof ponchos and money to a high-ranking al Qaeda official in South Waziristan, a Pakistani region near the Afghan border. Babar delivered the supplies personally in January and February 2004, although someone else transported the items in the summer of 2003.

BABAR also admitted to setting up a jihad training camp for those who wanted to go into Afghanistan and learn how to use weapons and explosive devices. He confessed to supplying people who attended the training camp with aluminum powder. He also admitted to attempting to purchase ammonium nitrate “with the knowledge that it was going to be used for a plot somewhere in the U.K.”

Related: 11 August 2004: NY man admits to helping al Qaeda

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