Canadian implicated in bomb plot

I think not
Trial links Ottawa man to plot
To face charges in Canada in January

LONDON—An Ontario man played a "vital role" in a bomb plot that was foiled by police just before targets in Britain were selected, a major anti-terrorism trial has heard.

Ottawa resident Momin Khawaja made up "the Canadian end of the conspiracy" to kill British citizens, Crown prosecutor David Waters alleged yesterday.

Khawaja, who awaits trial in Canada, attended an explosives "training camp" in Pakistan in the summer of 2003 with some of the seven British men being tried in London for the bomb plot, Waters added.

Khawaja was not charged in Britain.

Among those on trial in Britain is Omar Khyam, who claimed to be working for a top Al Qaeda leader he identified as Abdul Hadi, Waters told the court. Khyam, 24, discussed blowing up British "pubs, nightclubs or trains," he added.

Khyam said Britain "needed to be hit because of its support for the U.S.," Waters said.

"They (planned) to acquire the ingredients necessary to manufacture a bomb or bombs, which would be deployed at the very least to destroy (a) strategic plant within the United Kingdom, or more realistically, to kill and injure citizens of the United Kingdom," Waters alleged.

Police arrested the gang March 30, 2004, "when most of the necessary components (of the plot) were in place" and only the targets needed to be picked, Waters added.

The court case is the biggest anti-terrorism trial Britain has seen since the Sept. 11, 2001 Al Qaeda attacks on the U.S.

The seven accused sat behind a wall of thick glass surrounded by 11 security guards at London's Old Bailey criminal courthouse.

The suspects, Khyam; Anthony Garcia (also known as Rahman Adam), 24; Jawad Akbar, 22; Shujah Mahmood, 19; Waheed Mahmood, 33; Nabeel Hussain, 20, and Salahuddin Amin, 31, are accused of conspiring to cause an explosion "likely to endanger life."

All are British citizens who lived in towns in southeast England before their arrest.

All have pleaded not guilty.

Khawaja, 25, a computer software developer, has been charged in Canada with participating in or contributing to the activities of a terrorist group and facilitating terrorist activity.

His lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, said a trial by judge alone is scheduled to begin in Ottawa on Jan. 2, 2007, Canadian Press reports.

"A great deal of preparation (for the bomb plot) was undertaken in Pakistan and also in Canada through the work of Momin Khawaja," Waters said, adding Khawaja was also known to the accused as Yas or Yassir.

Garcia, Khyam and Hussain are also charged with possessing 600 kg of ammonium nitrate fertilizer.

Khyam and Shujah Mahmood are charged with possessing aluminum powder.

They're accused of planning to use both those ingredients to commit an act of terrorism.

The court heard that several of the men used ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder to detonate a bomb at a terrorist training camp in Malakand, Pakistan, near the Afghanistan border, in the summer of 2003.

The jury heard that several of the men made trips back and forth from Britain to Pakistan between 2001 and 2003 while allegedly hatching the bomb plot. What began as training to fight in Afghanistan developed into a plot to blow up British sites, Waters alleged.

"Waheed (Mahmood) said he couldn't understand why people were coming all the way to Pakistan or Afghanistan to fight when they should be fighting jihad in the U.K. and conducting operations there," Waters said.

Mahmood also said "he was a supporter of Al Qaeda," Waters added.

Waters said Mahmood made both statements to Mohammed Babar, who will testify for the prosecution in the case. Babar is an American citizen who pleaded guilty to the British bomb plot and other terrorism offences in New York.

Babar, who moved to the U.S. from Pakistan as a child and attended university in New York, had close contacts with the accused men in both Pakistan and Britain and was involved in the plot's planning, Waters said.

Waters also told the jury that Mahmood's job at National Grid Transco, a firm that owns and operates the electricity and high pressure gas system in Britain, would be "of significance in this case."

The "jihad security" practised by the accused men involved the use of different names to avoid identification, reminders about regularly disposing laptop computers and mobile phones and using code words, Waters told the jury. "The code word for detonators was cigarettes," he added.

The accused bought small radios in Pakistan to be used to smuggle detonators into Britain, Waters said.

Once back in Britain, they were kept under police surveillance between Feb. 11 and March 30, 2004.

Two homes and a car were also bugged.

Khawaja visited Britain during the surveillance on the weekend of Feb. 22-24, Waters said.

The trial continues today and is expected to last six months.
F.ucking losers.

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