10 April 2013
Mohammad Rizwan and Bahader Ali, two Birmingham gang members, pleaded guilty to plotting and preparing for acts of terrorism at Woolwich Crown Court on 10 April. Both men are from Sparkbrook, Birmingham, and planned to carry out an attack in Birmingham, the second most populated city in Britain. Police say that the gang’s plot to detonate eight rucksack bombs in crowded places would have been larger than the 7/7 bombings. In total, eleven gang members were arrested and have been either brought up on charges or convicted of planning terrorist activities and are due to be sentenced later this month. The men face life in prison.
A suspected airline bomb plotter’s wife has told a jury she gave police a false name and lied to protect her fugitive husband’s identity. Zora Siddique said she had initially given her cousin’s name to officers and had failed to reveal Mohammed Gulzar’s identity because he was a wanted man. Prosecutors allege that Mr Gulzar and others plotted to smuggle liquid bombs disguised as drinks on to planes. Eight men deny conspiring to murder and endanger aircraft leaving the UK. Under cross-examination from prosecutor Peter Wright QC, at Woolwich Crown Court, Ms Siddique said she still considered herself married, despite Mr Gulzar’s fugitive status, and did not feel cheated, deceived or used. Asking her why she had not signed her police statement, Mr Wright said: “You were not prepared to sign anything that might compromise your husband. “Is the position that you were not prepared to do anything unless you had approval?” She replied: “I haven’t been used at all.” The court heard that the couple met at Islamabad airport in March 2006. Ms Siddique admitted she had been flattered by Mr Gulzar’s attention as he had asked for her phone number, but he had failed to tell her his name before she flew to Belgium. During the first week of their phone relationship, he had told her that his name was Ali, she added.
The suspected leader of an alleged plot to blow up transatlantic planes mid-air promised to teach the West a “lesson they will never forget”, a court heard. Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27, made the vow during the 16-minute “martyrdom” video played at Woolwich Crown Court. Prosecutors say eight men planned to kill thousands by detonating home-made bombs, disguised as soft drinks, aboard flights to North America. All deny conspiring to murder and endangering planes in 2006. ‘Time has come’ Jurors were shown footage of what prosecutors said was Mr Ali wearing a black and white headscarf, against a backdrop of a black flag covered with Arabic writing. In the video, he said: “This the opportunity to punish and humiliate the kuffar [unbelievers], to teach them a lesson they will never forget.
A suicide plot to blow up as many as 18 bombs on transAtlantic aircraft simultaneously was “almost ready to be put into practice” by Muslim fanatics in Britain intent on causing carnage, a court has heard. British officials said the alleged plotters had not been about to strike when they were taken into custody. But on Thursday, Peter Wright, QC, prosecuting, told Woolwich Crown Court the men had been “almost ready” to launch their plan. “The disaster they contemplated was not long off,” he said. The eight alleged terrorists had drawn up plans of which flights they intended to target, and had bought everything they needed to make liquid-based bombs capable of bringing down passenger jets, the court heard. The alleged plot was smashed when police arrested the men after months of surveillance. One of them, Abdul Ahmed Ali, was carrying a USB memory stick alleged to have contained a “blueprint” of the plans. It was said to have included details of daily United Airlines, American Airlines and Air Canada flights from Heathrow, and research on what could be taken on board aircraft in hand luggage. Significantly, say the prosecution, the men “only seemed to be interested in one-way flights”. Gordon Rayner and Duncan Gardham report.
A gang of British Islamic terrorists drew up a list of targets across the UK with “limitless” ambition, a court heard. Canary Wharf, a gas pipeline, oil refineries and nuclear power stations may have been in their sights, a jury was told. Woolwich Crown Court heard how eight men plotted to take liquid bombs disguised as drinks on board at least seven transatlantic jets. Six of them recorded chilling suicide videos attacking Western governments and warning further attacks were to come, the court was told. One accused the British of being too busy watching TV soap operas to care about anything, adding: “As you kill, you will be killed.” Two of the men were also bugged discussing whether they should take their wives and children on the suicide missions.
Six Islamic fanatics recorded violent martyrdom videos as they prepared a terrorist attack on transatlantic aircraft, a court heard today. The gang’s leader told Western leaders to “stop meddling in our affairs” or body parts will be left “decorating the streets”, a jury heard. Another alleged bomber’s video message appeared to address the British public, accusing them of being too busy watching EastEnders and Home And Away to “care about anything”. Prosecutors said defendant Abdulla Ahmed Ali was willing to carry a home-made liquid bomb aboard a flight to north America and detonate it himself. Ali is one of eight men on trial accused of conspiring to murder and to endanger aircraft at Woolwich Crown Court in south-east London. They deny the charges. Prosecutor Peter Wright QC said the gang considered other targets in addition to at least seven flights leaving from London Heathrow airport within hours of each other. He said there was evidence Canary Wharf, a gas pipeline between Belgium and the UK, chemical companies, oil refineries and other UK airports were possible targets. The jury also heard how the gang stockpiled materials for their home-made liquid devices which were to be smuggled on to aircraft disguised as 500ml soft drinks.
The two ringleaders of a British al-Qaeda-style terrorist recruitment and training cell, who organised terror camps in beauty spots around the UK, were jailed today. Mohammed Hamid – who once called himself “Osama bin London” – and Atilla Ahmet both groomed impressionable young Muslim men to fight jihad against non-believers. Among their followers were several of the failed suicide bombers who attacked the capital on July 21, 2005. Hamid, 50, who organised brain-washing talks at his home in east London, was jailed indefinitely with a minimum term of seven-and-a-half years. Ahmet, 44, the self-styled emir of the gang and a former senior aide of Abu Hamza, was jailed for six years and 11 months at Woolwich Crown Court. Mr Justice Pitchers, the trial judge, told Hamid that he will continue to be a danger to the public because of his ability to persuade others to commit terrorism.
A Ugandan was among seven men found guilty of involvement in terrorist training activities by a British court on Tuesday. Ugandan-born Yassin Mutegombwa, 23, was sentenced to three years and five months in jail by the Woolwich Crown Court during one of the largest terrorist trials in Britain. A resident of South London, Mutegombwa had pleaded guilty to attending the training camps. Under the UK 2006 Terrorism Act, receiving training in terrorism is illegal. He confessed having undergone weaponry training at Woodland near Matleywood caravan and camping site, Beaulieu, Lyndhurt, near Southampton in June 2006. Mutegombwa and his brother, Hassan, were arrested in September 2006 during Scotland Yard’s anti-terror raids across London. Norman Miwambo reports.
Footage that allegedly shows a group of men practising military-style techniques in a New Forest terror training camp has been seen by a jury. A British Army officer told Woolwich Crown Court that the drills were similar to those of al-Qaeda insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.
By Duncan Hooper Mohammed Hamid, 50, was allegedly overheard by an undercover police officer as they drove past Paddington Green high security police station. Woolwich Crown Court was told Hamid yelled: “Here is your terrorist, I’m here, come and get me.” The court heard that Hamid was travelling back with a group of young muslim men from a “terror training camp” in the New Forest. The undercover officer, who infiltrated the group after claiming he wanted to convert to Islam, also attended the camp…