Reuters : Suspect thought fertiliser for construction not bomb

Monday, October 02, 2006

Suspect thought fertiliser for construction not bomb

October 2, 2006

LONDON (Reuters) - One of seven Britons accused of planning to carry out bomb attacks said on Monday he thought a huge bag of fertiliser contained sand for construction work rather than material for making explosives, as prosecutors claim.

Nabeel Hussain, 20, told London's Old Bailey court that he had no involvement in a suspected plot to set off bombs at high-profile targets such as pubs, clubs and a shopping centre.

Hussain, a student at Brunel University in west London, admitted that his credit card and signature had been used to pay for a storage facility where 600 kg (1,300 lb) of ammonium nitrate fertiliser were stored in early 2004.

Hussain said that he had lent the money to another of the suspects, Omar Khyam, without asking questions.

"I had building (sites) in the street, they had bags like that (in the storage) ... so I thought it was sand," he told the court.

"He (Khyam) then explained to me it was (going) to be used for renovation work, to do up homes. He was going to store it for some machinery, and I said 'ok'."

He said he was scared when he learnt some weeks later through a mutual friend of Kyham's what the bag actually contained.

Asked if he was part of a plan to use explosives to murder people in Britain, Hussain said: "(I) certainly was not. It was against my beliefs, my religion.

"It was never something I was part of or wanted to be part of."

Hussain is the third of the seven suspects to give evidence at the trial.

Hussain, Anthony Garcia, 27, Khyam, his younger brother Shujah-Ud-Din Mahmood, 18, Jawad Akbar, 22, Waheed Mahmood, 33, and Salahuddin Amin, 30, deny conspiring to cause an explosion likely to endanger life.

Garcia, Khyam and Hussain are also charged with possessing an article for terrorism -- the fertiliser.

Khyam and Mahmood are also accused with having aluminium powder -- an ingredient in explosives.

The trial continues.

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