BBC : East London 'bomb factory' filmed

Monday, May 05, 2008

East London 'bomb factory' filmed

April 18, 2008

Secretly-filmed footage from the inside of an alleged terrorist bomb factory has been shown in court.

Police concealed a camera inside a Walthamstow flat in the summer of 2006 as they closed in on a gang of suspected Islamic fanatics.

Woolwich Crown Court was shown a short clip of two men, Abdulla Ahmed Ali and Tanvir Hussain, inside the property.

The black and white footage shows the men using a power drill to make a hole in the base of a soft drink bottle.

The film was shot using a "fish-eye" lens from ankle height.

Videos recorded

A second camera, hidden across the street, captured Mr Ali and Mr Hussain as they arrived and left the 386A Forest Road flat.

Prosecutors say the two men are key figures in a conspiracy to murder thousands by blowing up transatlantic passenger jets destined for cities in the US and Canada.

Home-made liquid bombs disguised as Lucozade or Oasis drinks would be smuggled aboard before being detonated in mid-air, they said.

The repossessed flat, purchased for £138,000 cash, was used to make bombs and record suicide videos, the jury has been told.

Eight men are on trial accused of conspiracy to murder and to endanger aircraft. They deny the offences.

More evidence from a surveillance operation centred on east London and High Wycombe in July and August 2006 was shown in court.

CCTV of Assad Sarwar allegedly shopping for chemicals

In High Wycombe, other officers watched another defendant, Assad Sarwar, as he went shopping for citric acid.

Mr Sarwar, described as the gang's "quartermaster", bought the chemical at three pharmacies in less than 20 minutes.

The 24-year-old told one shop assistant his sister needed the white powdered chemical for cooking, prosecutor Richard Whittam said.

The prosecution says citric acid was one of several ingredients for the improvised bombs.

A fourth man, Mohammed Gulzar, was filmed as he met Mr Sarwar in Barking, east London, the court was told.

'Coded communication'

Several calls from Mr Sarwar, who used a phone card, were traced to Mr Ali, Mr Gulzar and to numbers in Pakistan.

The prosecution said gang members used written codes, phone cards and web-based e-mail accounts to communicate.

The jury was told how Mr Sarwar was watched as he carried a "bulky" green plastic carrier bag into King's Wood, High Wycombe, on 31 July and emerged with it scrunched up in his hand.

A search later found large quantities of hydrogen peroxide and other potential bomb-making materials in the wood.

The defendants are Mr Sarwar, Mr Hussain, 27, of Leyton, east London, and Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27, Waheed Zaman, 23, and Arafat Waheed Khan, 26, all of Walthamstow, east London.

Also charged are Mr Gulzar, 26, of Barking, east London, Ibrahim Savant, 27, of Stoke Newington, north London, and Umar Islam, 29, of Plaistow, east London.

The trial continues.