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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2006, 00:41 GMT 01:41 UK
Men 'stored 600kg bomb material'
Artist's impression of defendants in court (Artist: Julia Quenzler)
Seven men deny charges including conspiracy to cause explosions
A British terror cell stored 600kg of a fertiliser the IRA once used to make bombs, the Old Bailey has heard.

Defendant Anthony Garcia purchased a 600kg bag of ammonium nitrate fertiliser in November 2003, the jury was told.

This was kept at a self-storage depot in Hanwell, west London, until staff became suspicious and called police.

Mr Garcia is one of seven suspects accused of planning attacks on pubs, nightclubs and stations in the UK.

Some of the suspects are alleged by the prosecution to have received training in explosives and use of the poison ricin in Pakistan.

Jurors heard that Mr Garcia bought the 600kg bag of fertiliser from an agricultural suppliers in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, saying it was for an allotment he shared.

The bag was kept at Access Storage, a self-storage depot in Boston Road, Hanwell.

Staff became suspicious about three months later when an ex-employee, Paul Best, mentioned an incident which occured at another storage depot around seven years ago, when the IRA had stored 10 tons of fertiliser to make bombs.

Mr Best said he encouraged Emma Wallis, a supervisor at Access Storage, to carry out checks on the fertiliser being stored there and to call the police.

Explosive ingredient

Keith Ritchie, a forensic expert who works at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, confirmed the explosive significance of the fertiliser to the Old Bailey.

He carried out tests on the fertiliser which proved it was made of 77% ammonium nitrate, 30% calcium sulphate and 3% magnesium.

Access Storage Solutions in Boston Road, Hanwell
The fertiliser was kept at Access Storage in west London

Mr Ritchie said the ammonium nitrate could be "used as an ingredient in various types of explosive, commercial, military and improvised - home-made".

David Waters QC, prosecuting, said the fertiliser had "been used on a number of occasions with regard to the IRA and the Real IRA in the past", to which Mr Ritchie agreed.

He added the fertiliser would need to be combined with a detonator as well as a "fuel" to make a bomb.

Mr Waters said it would take someone only "a matter of seconds" to find the details of how to make such a bomb on the internet, if the person "knew what they were doing".

Waheed Mahmood, 34, Jawad Akbar, 22, Mr Khyam and his brother Shujah Mahmood, 19, all of Crawley, West Sussex, Salahuddin Amin, 30, from Luton, Bedfordshire, Anthony Garcia - also known as Rahman Adam - 23, of Ilford, east London, and Nabeel Hussain, 20, of Horley, Surrey, deny conspiring to cause explosions.

Mr Khyam, Mr Garcia and Mr Hussain deny possessing ammonium nitrate fertiliser.

Mr Khyam and Shujah Mahmood deny possessing aluminium powder.

The trial continues.

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