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Last Updated: Friday, 9 March 2007, 19:03 GMT
Teabags in 21/7 bomb - jury told
Oval Tube station
Oval station was one of the alleged targets
Teabags and artificial nail remover were used to make explosive devices designed to blow up parts of the London transport system, a court heard.

Woolwich Crown Court was told that the July 21 terror suspects made TATP explosive in kitchen pans and stored it in a sideboard at one of their homes.

The TATP was allegedly used as the detonator for bombs made of hydrogen peroxide and chapatti flour.

Six defendants deny conspiracy to murder and to cause explosions.

'Yellow gelatinous mass'

Manfo Asiedu, Muktar Ibrahim, Hussein Osman, Yassin Omar, Ramzi Mohammed and Adel Yahya are accused of carrying out the failed attacks as part of an extremist Muslim plot.

The head of the Forensic Explosives Laboratory in Kent said the events on July 21 were immediately compared to those of two weeks before when 52 people died.

Clifford Todd, principal forensic investigator, was in charge of dealing with the unknown explosive material.

When first alerted to the four scenes of crime he said there was very little scientific evidence to go on.

"Uppermost in our minds were the events of July 7. At that time we were reasonably sure that hydrogen peroxide and organic fuels were concerned in that case.

"It looked as though it might be similar, but we had no actual evidence."

The forensic specialist, who has 20 years of experience, said he had never come across hydrogen peroxide-based bombs before.

Mr Todd took the decision to destroy the bulk of the unexploded material because it was considered so dangerous.

He told the court one colleague had died and another was seriously injured in the past when dealing with similar "novel" devices.

The majority of the charge, described as a yellow gelatinous mass, was destroyed at a site in Biggin Hill, Kent.

Plastic squeezy bottle

Earlier Keith Ritchie, from the Forensic Explosives Laboratory in Fort Halstead, Kent, told the jury he had found traces of TATP [triacetone triperoxide] at Mr Mohammed's home in west London.

He discovered 411 nanograms in the plumbing tubes running out from the kitchen sink.

One nanogram is the equivalent of a 1,000 millionth of a gram, the jury was told.

Mr Ritchie said TATP was a primary high explosive which, although not commercially available, could be made from a mix of hydrogen peroxide and acetone to which acid is added.

Scientists were shown a photograph of a plastic squeezy bottle found in Mr Omar's flat - the alleged "bomb factory" at Curtis House, New Southgate, north London.

Evidence of green sulphuric acid was found in the bottle, which had a special nozzle attached.

George Carter-Stephenson, defence counsel for Mr Ibrahim, said the acetone the defendants had used was taken from an artificial nail remover solution with the brand name Pretty Woman.

He argued the acetone was not as pure as that used by the laboratory and therefore not as effective.

Mr Ritchie told the court the efficiency of the TATP could also be affected by hot weather.

The trial was adjourned until Monday.

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