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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 March 2006, 16:41 GMT
'Bomb ingredients' kept in depot
Access Storage Solutions, Hanwell, west London
The ammonium nitrate was stored at this depot, the prosecution says
The group of seven British citizens facing terror plot charges at the Old Bailey had acquired the components for bombs, the court has been told.

A large amount of feriliser - "enough for five football pitches" - was stored in a self-storage depot in west London, it is alleged.

The codeword the gang chose to open the lock-up was "pink" - after Mr Pink, a character from the film Reservoir Dogs.

The plot allegedly involved a bomb made with ammonium nitrate and aluminium powder.

The court heard remote encrypted radio transmissions would be used.

Members of the group are alleged to have trained in causing explosions at a camp in Pakistan, and to have obtained 600kg (1,300lb) of ammonium nitrate fertiliser for use in the UK.

They deny having materials for bomb-making and conspiring to cause explosions.

It was the wrong time of year to apply ammonium nitrate as a fertiliser
David Waters QC

Before their arrest on 30 March 2004, one of the seven, 24-year-old Omar Khyam, was in e-mail contact with a Canadian man, Mohammed Momin Khawaja, the court heard.

Mr Khawaja is awaiting trial in Canada over the plot.

The two allegedly discussed how to make remote detonators, and on 25 January 2004 Mr Khawaja emailed that the devices were working and he would come to the UK as soon as possible.

Mr Khyam and his brother Shujah Mahmood met the Canadian at Heathrow when he arrived on 20 February, the jury was told.

Remote-control detonator

Later, they were recorded at Mr Khyam's flat in Slough, talking about a remote-controlled detonator with increased range of perhaps one or two kilometres, the prosecution alleged.

They went to an internet cafe where Khawaja is said to have shown them pictures of the remote detonation devices he had made.

He left Heathrow for Canada two days later.

All seven men deny conspiring to cause explosions likely to endanger life between 1 January 2003 and 31 March 2004.

Mr Khyam, Mr Garcia and Mr Hussain deny possessing ammonium nitrate fertiliser. The fertiliser was found at a west London storage depot.

Mr Khyam and Shujah Mahmood deny possessing aluminium powder.

'Pink' password

The prosecution told the court the 600kg of ammonium nitrate was eventually stored at the Access self-storage depot in Boston Road, Hanwell.

David Waters QC, prosecuting, said: "The word 'pink' was selected - apparently after Mr Pink from the film Reservoir Dogs."

Artist's impression of defendants in court (Artist: Julia Quenzler)
One of the men returned to mark a fertiliser bag, it is alleged

"The access code chosen was 666 - a number it was thought they could all easily remember."

Bodle Brothers agricultural merchants in Burgess Hill, Sussex, sold the chemical fertiliser to a man called John Garcia, or John Lewis, in November 2003, Mr Waters said.

"Garcia had originally indicated that he wanted it for his allotment," Mr Water said.

"This was somewhat surprising as the allotment would have to be the size of four or five football pitches, and it was the wrong time of year to apply ammonium nitrate as a fertiliser."

'Question unanswered'

The deposit for the rental was paid for using Mr Hussain's bank card, and he turned up with Mr Khyam and Mr Garcia to finalise the agreement which involved monthly payment from his account, it was alleged.

The 600kg bag of fertiliser was transferred from a lorry by the manager, a woman named Pinderjit Saini who drove a forklift truck.

Mr Waters said: "She had noticed a hazard warning on the side of the bag. She asked why they were storing it.

"She did not receive a reply to that question."

'Staff suspicious'

Eventually the staff at the Access storage depot became suspicious about the amount of fertiliser they were holding and the lack of activity around it.

On 20 February 2004, they contacted police, and police photographed the ammonium nitrate and replaced it with an inert substance.

In March, Mr Khyam visited Access three times and on one occasion was caught marking the bag of fertiliser, perhaps to allow him to see if it had been moved.

Mr Waters said on the last two visits, reference was also made to it being the last month when storage was required.


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