Daily Mail : Bomb-making materials found near home of jet bomb plot accused, court hears

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Bomb-making materials found near home of jet bomb plot accused, court hears

April 15, 2008

Jurors in the jet terror plot trial were today shown bomb-making materials found hidden in a wood near the home of one of the suspects.

The stash included glass flasks, syringes, thermometers and the chemicals needed to make the high explosive HMTD, Woolwich Crown Court heard.

One of the key ingredients, Hexamine, was concealed in a red SAXA household salt container.

Detectives made the discovery after being tipped off by surveillance officers who had been following Assad Sarwar, 27, it is claimed.

Sarwar had been seen taking a silver suitcase and spade into the 600-acre King's Wood in High Wycombe, Bucks, on July 31, 2006.

During a search of the wood on August 9, the case was discovered partially concealed under leaves at the base of a fallen tree.

After being made safe by explosives officers, it was found to contain two syringes, a digital thermometer, two glass thermometers and two 250ml Pyrex conical flasks.

Jurors heard that DNA found on the flasks matched the profile of Sarwar, who lived nearby in High Wycombe.

Prosecutor Richard Whittam told the jury: "These flasks are part of all the necessary equipment and ingredients that would be required by someone with the necessary knowledge to manufacture HMTD, an extremely dangerous improvised high explosive, which could be used as a main charge or a detonator."

The case also contained two SAXA salt tins filled with a white powder which was later found to be Hexamine, an ingredient of HMTD, it is claimed.

There were also 18 screw-top pipettes, a white plastic bottle containing 280ml of Hydrogen Peroxide at 40 per cent concentration and a sealed bag of citric acid.

Mr Whittam said the hydrogen peroxide and citric acid were also ingredients of HMTD.

In a second location in the wood, detectives found a black bin bag containing another two bottles of hydrogen peroxide.

A search of Fennels Wood, south of King's Wood, revealed further bottles of hydrogen peroxide inside a black bin bag, the court heard.

Eight British Muslims are accused of plotting to launch co-ordinated suicide attacks on passenger jets flying from London Heathrow Terminal Three to the US and Canada.

The gang allegedly planned to make bombs disguised as soft drinks bottles using hydrogen peroxide mixed with the fruit concentrate Tang.

Jurors heard these devices could be smuggled through airport security on board flights before being detonated in mid air.

The defendants are Sarwar, Ahmed Abdulla Ali, 27, Tanvir Hussain, 27, Arafat Waheed Khan, 26, Ibrahim Savant, 27, Waheed Zaman, 23, Umar Islam, 29, and Mohammed Gulzar, 26.

The seven daily flights highlighted by the plotters were: 14.15 United Airlines Flight 931 to San Francisco; 15.00 Air Canada Flight 849 to Toronto; 15.15 Air Canada Flight 865 to Montreal; 15.40 United Airlines Flight 959 to Chicago; 16.20 United Airlines Flight 925 to Washington; 16.35 American Airlines Flight 131 to New York; 16.50 American Airlines Flight 91 to Chicago.

Ahmed Abdulla Ali, Tanvir Hussain, Umar Islam urt, Arafat Waheed Khan, Ibrahim Savant, Waheed Zaman and Mohammed Gulzar all deny charges of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to commit an act of violence likely to endanger the safety of an aircraft between January 1 and August 11, 2006.

The trial continues.