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India-born pleads guilty in terror plot

Dhiren Barot, whose parents came from Gujarat, pleads guilty of plotting a series of attacks on UK and US targets.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2006 12:30 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Dhiren Barot, son of Gujarati parents who migrated to Britain from Kenya in 1973, has pleaded guilty in court to conspiring to a series of bombings on British and US targets.

India-born Barot planned to use a radioactive "dirty bomb" in one of a series of attacks in Britain, Woolwich Crown Court was told on Thursday. He intended to cause "injury, fear, terror and chaos", prosecutors said.

Barot, 34, also allegedly plotted to cause explosions at several US financial buildings "designed to kill as many innocent people as possible". He was arrested in August 2004 along with seven others, who were of Pakistan origin.

According to Indian security expert B Raman, Barot is "also known as (aka) Bilal aka Abu Musa al-Hindi aka Abu Eissa al-Hindi. He is reportedly the son of Manubhai Barot and Bhartiyaben.

"After his arrest and preliminary interrogation, Dhiren Barot, who reportedly embraced Islam in 1992, has been projected in some reports as a leading Al- Qaeda operative of the UK and in some others as the head of Al-Qaeda set-up in the UK."

Prosecuting lawyer Edmund Lawson said that the plans had been found by the police on a computer after Barot was arrested.

The plans were for attacks on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank buildings in Washington, the New York Stock Exchange and Citigroup buildings in New York and the Prudential buildings in Newark, New Jersey.

"These being carry out explosions at those premises with no warning, they were basically designed to kill as many innocent people as possible," said Lawson.

Barot also plotted to blow up three limousines "packed" with gas cylinders and explosives in underground car parks in Britain, the court was told.

Lawson said that the plot - known as the Gas Limos Project - was to form the "main cornerstone" of a series of synchronised attacks in Britain. Other bombings being planned included a so-called "dirty bomb project".

Lawson said this plot was designed to achieve "a number of further and collateral objectives such as to cause injury, fear, terror and chaos".

Barot had also faced 12 other charges: one of conspiracy to commit public nuisance, seven of making a record of information for terrorist purposes and four of possessing a record of information for terrorist purposes.

The judge ordered all these charges to lie on file following his guilty plea to conspiracy to murder. The sentence will be pronounced at a later date.

First Published: Oct 13, 2006 10:25 IST