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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 April, 2004, 17:15 GMT 18:15 UK
Failed suicide bomber 'left will'
Omar Sharif
Omar Sharif arranged his will before he left
Failed suicide bomber Omar Sharif left a handwritten will eight days before leaving for his mission in Israel, the Old Bailey has heard.

Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw told the London court police had found the will on a coffee table at Sharif's home.

He claimed police also found a notepad with a reference from Sharif's wife in which she defined suicide bombings as martyrdom operations.

Sharif, 27, from Derby, was found drowned after his bomb did not explode.

Sharif's wife, Tahira Tabassum, 28, brother Zahid, 37, and sister Parveen, all from Derby, have pleaded not guilty to failing to disclose information about terrorism.

Mr Laidlaw told jurors Sharif's will was signed by Omar Sharif, eight days before his departure, and witnessed by his brother, Zahid.

The prosecutor said, in a separate reference, Tahira Tabassum had written: "What the West refer to as suicide bombings, which we refer to as martyrdom operations."

Mr Laidlaw went on: "Is it an extraordinary coincidence that Tahira, Omar's wife, should choose to think so carefully about the justification of suicide bombing at the very same time her husband was planning such an act although he had not told her about that?"

Open mind

The jury was earlier warned to keep an open mind after inaccurate media reports of the trial, which was halted on Tuesday while the judge and barristers discussed several newspaper stories.

When it resumed on Wednesday Judge Michael Hyam told jurors they should not be influenced by anything they had heard or read.

Just before 0100 (Israeli time) presumably when the bombers thought the bar was full to its capacity - they completed the last of their preparatory acts
Jonathan Laidlaw
Prosecuting barrister

Judge Hyam quoted a story headlined "Women of Terror" which claimed two of the defendants were charged with "assisting terrorism".

This was "untrue and inaccurate", he said "that is exactly what they are not charged with".

Attack described

When the trial resumed, Jonathan Laidlaw told the jury the two men had decided to blow themselves up long before leaving for the Middle East.

He said it was important to show this as it showed it was more likely Sharif's family was aware of his intentions.

Parveen Sharif
Parveen Sharif denies encouraging her brother
Sharif was associated with Al-Muhajiroun, an extreme Islamic militant group, said Mr Laidlaw.

The barrister went on to describe how the attack, with fellow conspirator Asif Hanif, from London, was carried out.

He said the bar, Mike's Place, was set among a number of hotels, and on the other side of the road from the American Embassy.

The two bombers were seen talking together just before the attack, and left their passports and money in a skip so their identities would be discovered.

"Just before 0100 (Israeli time), presumably when the bombers thought the bar was full to its capacity - they completed the last of their preparatory acts," Mr Laidlaw said.

"Hanif was seen by a witness to approach to activate the device. "

Other witnesses heard a second smaller explosion like a single rifle shot, the court heard, and then Sharif ran from the scene.

The case continues.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Daniel Sandford
"This trial is all about the bomb that last April ripped through Mike's Place"



SEE ALSO:
'Suicide bomber' inquest opens
01 Jul 03  |  Derbyshire


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