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Monday, 10 February, 2003, 15:38 GMT
Terror suspects 'had Bin Laden videos'
The two Algerians arrive at court
The two men deny the charges
Two Algerians accused of plotting to raise money for al-Qaeda had militant Islamic extremist videos, a court has heard.

Brahim Benmerzouga and Baghdad Meziane had 19 films citing Osama Bin Laden's ideology, a jury at Leicester Crown Court was told on Monday.

Mr Benmerzouga, 31, and Mr Meziane, 38, deny "entering into a funding arrangement for the purposes of terrorism" under the Terrorism Act 2000.

The pair planned to make money, propaganda material and equipment available to terrorists in support of Bin Laden, Mark Ellison, prosecuting, told the jury.

The case was opened for the second time on Monday after a previous jury was discharged last week for legal reasons.

Holy War

Mr Meziane, who was claiming asylum in the UK, also denies a charge of conspiracy to defraud by manufacturing and/or using false bank cards and card details.

The two men, who lived in Leicester, supported the recruitment of young Muslims for a Jihad, or holy war, against the United States and its allies, said Mr Ellison.

He told the court the pair supported this ideology in the belief Osama Bin Laden was synonymous with al-Qaeda.

It is alleged they could provide cash, false cards and bank account details and equipment such as radio parts and solar batteries to terrorists.

They also planned to make available propaganda material to recruit people and assist people's travel to help them train for the terror network.

Mr Benmerzouga, of Prospect Hill, admitted possessing three false passports.

Mr Meziane, of Rolleston Street, pleaded guilty to possessing a false passport in the name of Cyril Jacob.

It is alleged they used these passports to open bank accounts, claim benefits and gain work.

Mr Benmerzouga has pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to defraud, by using and/or manufacturing counterfeit bank, credit and charge cards and their details.

They were arrested in September 2001, following weeks of surveillance by officers from the security services.

Mr Ellison told the jury of six men and six women people seeking asylum or living illegally may resort to false identities to claim benefits without supporting terrorism.

"But that does not simply begin to account for the scale and complete range of the activities of these defendants," he said.


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