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Last Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Missile plot Briton sent to jail
Kazi Nurur Rahman
Rahman was arrested four months after the 7 July attacks in London
A Briton who allegedly tried to buy missiles to shoot down airliners has been jailed, it has emerged following the Old Bailey fertiliser bomb trial.

Reporting restrictions covering the conviction of Kazi Nurur Rahman have been lifted.

Rahman, 29, was arrested in November 2005 after trying to buy three Uzi sub-machine guns in a police sting.

He pleaded guilty and was jailed for nine years but details were kept secret because of his links to the defendants.

Rahman was arrested only four months after the 7 July attacks in London and when sentencing him in May last year (2006) the judge, Mr Justice David Calvert-Smith, said: "These negotiations were conducted in the immediate aftermath of the worst terrorist outrage ever perpetrated on these shores.

"What was intended was the deaths of large numbers of people in this country."

Plane comes in to land at Heathrow
Rahman may have been targeting planes at Heathrow

When Rahman's home in Manor Park, east London was searched police found literature relating to the 9/11 "martyrs" and details of guerrilla warfare and how to execute prisoners.

Rahman, also known as Abdul Haleem, was friendly with several of the defendants and had trained in the same camps in Pakistan.

'Risk to air traffic'

The prosecution's star witness, Mohammed Babar, told the Old Bailey Rahman was the head of a cell in east London.

David Farrell, QC, prosecuting, said: "The terrorist purpose, which the defendant accepts by his plea but does not define, was to cause death, injury and damage for the religious and political purposes of al-Qaeda."

An Uzi sub-machine gun
This purchase was intended to be the first of other purchases, he being in negotiation...for the purchase of even more potentially deadly terrorist weapons, including a Sam-7 missile and rocket-propelled grenades
David Farrell QC

"The potential risk to air traffic is all too obvious," he added.

He was not arrested when Khyam and the others were picked up but the security services kept him under surveillance and finally lured him into a trap using undercover officers posing as Muslim arms dealers.

One of the officers, posing as 'Mohamed', offered to sell him the guns, together with silencers and 3,000 rounds of ammunition. Rahman offered to pay 1,000 per gun.

David Farrell QC, prosecuting, said: "This purchase was intended to be the first of other purchases, he being in negotiation, albeit in the early stages of negotiation, for the purchase of even more potentially deadly terrorist weapons, including a Sam-7 missile and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs)."

Rahman was quoted a price of around 70,000 for the missiles and RPGs, a figure which he said was "no problem".

On 29 November 2005 Rahman met Mohamed at South Mimms services on the M25 and handed over some money.

He then met another undercover officer, 'Iqbal', and they drove to a cul-de-sac in nearby Welham Green, Hertfordshire.

There Iqbal showed Rahman a van and inside was a suitcase containing the guns, wrapped in black plastic bags.

Mr Farrell said: "Rahman got out of the van and told Iqbal to put the suitcase in the back of his vehicle and they would leave that location and find a better, safer place for the exchange.

"Iqbal refused to do this. Rahman also stated that he wanted to see the ammunition, which had not been brought to the location for safety reasons.

Armed officers

"Iqbal told him the ammunition was nearby. Rahman was unhappy and said it looked like a 'sting'.

Road checks near Heathrow
There have been several anti-air missile scares near Heathrow

"He returned to his vehicle and telephoned Mohamed. At this point armed officers intervened and Rahman was arrested."

When interviewed by police Rahman claimed he was working for MI5, who had recruited him 10 years earlier.

But, in pleading guilty to attempting to possess property intending it should be used for the purpose of terrorism, he later accepted this story was untrue.

It also emerged that Rahman had been interviewed by a British TV reporter in Lahore, Pakistan in October 2001 and had spoken of Muslim volunteers from the UK fighting British troops in Afghanistan.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke: "This is another example of where we have been able to take pre-emptive action to protect the public from the threat of terrorism. Whenever the evidence allows us to take such action, we will do so."

In 1995 Rahman was arrested and charged in connection with the death of Ayotunde Obanubi, a Nigerian student who was stabbed to death outside Newham College in east London.

Charges were dropped against Rahman but his co-defendant, Saeed Nur, 27, was jailed for life and another friend, Umran Qadir, 18, was ordered to be detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure for his involvement in the killing.

The murder trial heard that the killing arose because of tension between Muslim and non-Muslim students at the college.

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