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Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2007, 22:46 GMT
Friend 'helped bomb plot accused'
Matthew Dixon
Matthew Dixon knew several of the alleged bombers
A friend of the alleged 21 July bombers has told a jury he helped to collect the main ingredient for their bombs, believing it was for decorating.

Matthew Dixon told Woolwich Crown Court he drove Manfo Asiedu to a hairdressing wholesalers to pick up bleach.

Mr Asiedu is alleged to have then bought 16 litres of hydrogen peroxide.

Mr Asiedu, Muktar Ibrahim, Hussein Osman, Yassin Omar, Ramzi Mohammed and Adel Yahya deny conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions.

Mr Dixon, a product designer, was a school friend of Mr Omar and knew several of the alleged plotters, the court heard.

Volatile liquid

Among them was 33-year-old Mr Asiedu, who told Mr Dixon he needed bleach for "stripping walls in listed buildings" because the wallpaper was so thick that a stripper would not work.

The pair drove to Hairways wholesalers in Tottenham, north London, on 19 May 2005, the court heard.

A sales assistant advised them that liquid peroxide was volatile, Mr Dixon said.

He (Mr Asiedu) said I was the only person he knew with a car
Matthew Dixon

But Mr Asiedu replied: "No worries, I am a professional, I know what I am doing."

Earlier, the court heard that Mr Asiedu bought the hydrogen peroxide allegedly for use as an explosive charge to be used in a plot to bomb London's public transport system.

Mr Dixon told the court he had been reluctant to help with the shopping trip because he was busy with his Masters degree, but Mr Asiedu had been persistent.

"He said I was the only person he knew with a car," Mr Dixon said.

Painter and decorator

Mr Asiedu bought all the bottles in the shop and then the pair drove to Sally's hairdressers in Finchley where he bought more bottles, Mr Dixon told the court.

They then carried them to the ninth-floor home of Mr Omar in Curtis House, New Southgate, north London, the jury was told.

Manfo Asiedu
Mr Asiedu is one of six men who deny conspiracy to murder

Mr Dixon said he had no idea at the time of the potential use of peroxide in explosives and believed they were to be used by Mr Asiedu in his trade as a painter and decorator.

"I had no reason to doubt what they were going to be used for," he said.

He said that, until the failed 21 July attacks, he had dismissed the shopping trip as "meaningless".

Mr Dixon also said he had visited north London's Finsbury Park Mosque with Mr Omar and Mr Yahya at the time that radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri was preaching there.

He said it had been his first experience of a mosque and he had found nothing "abnormal or radical" about it.

He went on to explain that he had "drifted" away from Mr Omar and Mr Yahya during the year before the alleged attacks.

THE ACCUSED
Muktar Said Ibrahim, 28, from Stoke Newington, north London
Ramzi Mohammed, 25, from North Kensington, west London
Yassin Omar, 26, from New Southgate, north London
Hussein Osman, 28, of no fixed address
Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, 33, of no fixed address
Adel Yahya, 24, of High Road, Tottenham, north London

But he told the court he had called Mr Omar in the days before the attack in response to "drop-calls", when Mr Omar would ring and then hang up because he had no credit.

Then two days after 21 July, Mr Dixon said he began to grow concerned about Mr Omar's whereabouts after calls from his family.

He told the court that he had seen images in the media of the suspected bombers and thought one of them "resembled" his friend.

Marriage

Mr Dixon told the court how he went on to visit Mr Omar's home in Curtis House to ask neighbours for information, and then went to Finchley Mosque where he spoke to Mr Asiedu.

The pair, along with Mr Omar's brother-in-law, then went to visit the flat of Mr Omar's new wife, who he had married five days before the alleged attacks, Mr Dixon told the court.

It was "obvious" she was "distressed", Mr Dixon said.

"The only thing she said was 'How could he do this? We just got married' and I said to her 'Don't worry, I do not think he was involved'," Mr Dixon added.

Under cross examination by Peter Carter QC, Mr Omar's counsel, Mr Dixon said his friend Mr Omar had disagreed with the 7 July bombings and believed in promoting the good and kind aspects of Islam when encouraging people to convert to the faith.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
What the jury heard from Matthew Dixon



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