Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 17:16 UK

Jury shown airline 'bomb impact'

High speed camera footage shown to the jury

Jurors have seen a video of the likely impact of liquid explosives prosecutors say were to be used to blow up a number of transatlantic planes.

The filmed explosion used ingredients like those dumped in woodland and found in a flat used by an alleged terrorist cell, Woolwich Crown Court was told.

The Crown says eight men planned to detonate bombs, disguised as soft drinks, on flights to North America.

All eight men deny conspiring to murder and endangering aircraft in 2006.

The footage showed the controlled explosion shattering 12mm-thick laminated glass, while polyethylene panels surrounding the test were left strewn on the floor.

The accused men
Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27
Assad Sarwar, 24
Tanvir Hussain, 27
Mohammed Gulzar, 26
Ibrahim Savant, 27
Arafat Waheed Khan, 26
Waheed Zaman, 23
Umar Islam, 29

Explosives expert Keith Ritchie told the court that a series of explosives tests were carried out in January at the Ministry of Defence's Fort Halstead base in Kent.

The detonations used ratios of hydrogen peroxide (HP) and a sugary powdered drink, Tang.

But judge Mr Justice Calvert-Smith questioned the relevance of viewing the hypothetical tests.

"We have to deal with fact," he told the court. "This is a conspiracy rather than actually causing an explosion or murder."

The judge said the jury's concern was whether such an explosion would have endangered an aircraft and killed anybody.

The defendants' arrests in 2006 led to a ban on passengers carrying most liquids on board aircraft.

The men are alleged to have been planning to detonate bombs mid-air on flights from London to cities across North America, including Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Washington.

They are: Assad Sarwar, 24, Tanvir Hussain, 27, of Leyton, east London, and Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27, Waheed Zaman, 23, and Arafat Waheed Kahn, 26, all of Walthamstow, east London. Also charged are Mohammed Gulzar, 26, of Barking, east London, Ibrahim Savant, 27, of Stoke Newington, north London, and Umar Islam, 29, of Plaistow, east London.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.

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