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Terror's Pakistan link revealed

The trial of seven suspects in UK has revealed that they worked for Al Qaeda's #3 man, reports Vijay Dutt.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2006 20:40 IST
Vijay Dutt

Alarming revelations are emerging during the trial of seven UK Muslim men with alleged Al-Qaeda links. They were reportedly working for its number three man, Abdul Hadi.

The seven have been accused of plotting a bombing campaign in the UK.

Their Pakistan link has also been unravelled. They used codenames and travelled to Pakistan dressed as tourists, even taking holiday snapshots of each other to keep up the charade. The prosecution said some of the men had family connections there but their main reason for going there was to gain expertise in explosives. They had also got trained in using ricin.

The prime contact of the defendants in Pakistan was an American citizen Mohamed Babar, who has pleaded guilty to terrorist offences in New York, but had fled to Pakistan after 9/11 and joined Al Muhajiroun group.

The seven were called by Babar as the Crawley lot because four of them belong to the town in Sussex.

The group's plan to make bombs in the UK involved 600 kg (1,300 lb) of ammonium nitrate fertiliser stored at an Access Self Storage depot in Hanwell, west London, as well as a smaller amount of aluminium powder, the prosecution has said.

The depot owners got suspicious and tipped Scotland Yard

Acting on the tip, detectives monitored their movements and bugged their vehicles. The seven were arrested later and are now standing trial.

The court was told that six of them after being trained in terror tactics in Pakistan and making bombs drew up plans for bombing pubs, shopping centres, trains and night clubs in the UK. They were heard praising the Madrid train bombings 'fortissimo' and a great feat. Their aim was to revenge Britain joining the war in Iraq.

The sprawling Kent's Bluewater shopping centre which is always full of thousands of shoppers and a central London nightclub were the immediate targets. One suspect was also allegedly involved in a plot to buy a "radio-isotope bomb". One of them said the night clubbers could not complain implying they were sinners.

The trial is expected to last a few months during which more information about terrorist conspiracies are expected to tumble out.