Seven British citizens had acquired "most of the necessary components" to launch a bombing campaign in the UK, the Old Bailey has heard.
The men, one of whom cannot be identified, deny all the charges
Prosecutor David Waters QC said "pubs, nightclubs and trains" were discussed as potential targets, but police moved in before the plot "reached fruition".
All seven deny conspiring to cause life-endangering explosions between January 2003 and April 2004.
Four of them also deny having chemicals that could be used in bomb-making.
The prosecutor said 600 kilograms of ammonium nitrate fertiliser and a smaller amount of aluminium powder were recovered by detectives.
Mr Waters told the jury they would be hearing from an American citizen, Mohammed Babar, who conspired with the defendants.
Babar has pleaded guilty to terrorism offences in the US and, according to the prosecutor, "has an insight as an insider into the events and plans which an outsider could not have".
It is claimed Babar met several of the defendants in England and in Pakistan, where many of them have family connections.
Mr Waters said the defendants' "principal purpose" in travelling to Pakistan was "to acquire expertise in relation particularly to explosives".
Omar Khyam allegedly proposed pubs and nightclubs as targets
It was during a meeting with Babar that 24-year-old defendant Omar Khyam, from Crawley in West Sussex, allegedly told Babar his targets could include pubs, nightclubs and trains.
Mr Waters said Mr Khyam's motive was clear: "The UK was unscathed, it needed to be hit because of its support for the US."
The prosecutor said Mr Khyam and co-defendant Salahuddin Amin, 31, from Luton in Bedfordshire, both told Babar they worked for a man who they claimed was "number three in al-Qaeda".
On the first day of the trial, Mr Waters told the jury the plot was stopped before it could reach fruition.
"The interception came only when most of the necessary components were in place," he said.
"All that remained before their plans achieved their ultimate goal was for the target or targets to be finally agreed."
He said each of the men "played their respective roles" in a plan to get bomb-making ingredients.
The bomb, or bombs, would have been used "at the very least to destroy a strategic plant within the United Kingdom, or more realistically to kill and injure citizens of the UK," he claimed.
Mr Khyam and his brother Shujah Mahmood, 19, both from Crawley, each deny possessing aluminium powder.
Mr Khyam, Anthony Garcia (also known as Rahman Adam), 23, of Ilford, east London, and Nabeel Hussain, 20, of Horley, Surrey, each deny possession of the ammonium nitrate fertiliser.
The other accused are Waheed Mahmood, 34, and Jawad Akbar, 22, both from Crawley.
All seven deny a charge of conspiracy to cause explosions.