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Page last updated at 13:28 GMT, Monday, 17 November 2008

Doctor admits he is 'a terrorist'

Dr Bilal Abdulla
Dr Abdulla denies trying to kill or injure anyone through car bomb attacks

An NHS doctor accused of attempted car bombings in London and at Glasgow Airport has admitted that according to English law he is a terrorist.

Bilal Abdulla, 29, is alleged to have crashed into the airport in a Jeep laden with petrol and gas canisters.

But he told a jury he never wanted to kill or injure anyone.

Dr Abdulla, from Paisley, and Dr Mohammed Asha, 27, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, deny conspiracies to murder and to cause explosions.

The defence has said that Dr Abdulla and friend Kafeel Ahmed, 28, wanted to highlight the plight of people in Iraq and Afghanistan with a series of incendiary device attacks in June 2007.

Dr Asha is accused of supplying them with cash and advice.

A jury at Woolwich Crown Court heard Dr Abdulla had told police in Scotland "something along those lines" that he was a terrorist shortly after being arrested.

From day one - we said we will not kill or injure any innocent person.
Dr Bilal Abdulla

Dr Abdulla told the court: "Everyone was saying you are a terrorist, you are arrested under the Terrorism Act and so forth.

"That is my case in a nutshell. I am told I am a terrorist, but is your government not a terrorist, is your army not a terrorist?

"By the definition of the Act, according to English law, yes. That is my aim to change opinion using violence, using fire devices."

Dr Abdulla told the jury that after attacks on London's West End had failed, he planned to flee to Iraq, via Turkey, because it would be "much easier to disappear" in a lawless country.

But as he approached the airport, Ahmed suddenly swerved the Jeep into the terminal building without warning.

Petrol bombs

"He drove through the barrier and I got alarmed and I shouted 'What are you doing, what is happening?'," said Dr Abdulla.

"I had never seen Kafeel's face like that in my life. He was determined, his foot was on the accelerator and he did not respond to me at all."

Dr Abdulla admitted throwing petrol bombs as he got out of the burning vehicle. But he claimed he had tossed them away to protect himself after Ahmed had passed one to him, accidentally lighting the others in the process.

He said he could not recall exactly what happened afterwards, adding: "I know that I had struggled with people, I received punches and I punched back."

Ahmed, an Indian engineering student, died one month after the attack from critical burns after dousing himself in petrol.

Dr Abdulla told the court: "From day one, we said we will not kill or injure any innocent person.

"This incident, if it was to kill people or cause an explosion, we would not have done it that way. It looks very clumsy."

The trial continues.

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