One of the July 21 terror suspects was hunted by police months before he tried to detonate a device on London's transport network, a court heard.
Muktar Ibrahim was stopped by police at Heathrow airport.
Muktar Said Ibrahim, 29, had been charged under the Public Order Act for using threatening and abusive behaviour in October 2004.
But Woolwich Crown Court was told he failed to appear before magistrates because he had gone to Pakistan.
Six men deny conspiracy to murder and to cause explosions on 21 July 2005.
Mr Ibrahim and two others had been distributing Islamic material outside Debenhams on Oxford Street in central London when they were accused of using threatening behaviour.
After a run-in with police, all three were charged, the court heard.
Mr Ibrahim was due to appear before magistrates in December 2004 but did not turn up because he had gone to Pakistan.
He took £2,000 with him and returned after three months with £700.
Mr Ibrahim told the court he had used £550 of the money left over to buy the hydrogen peroxide used in the main charge of the explosives.
He denied that he had been given money while in Pakistan.
'Jihadi sending-off party'
Mr Ibrahim and two other men were stopped by police at London's Heathrow as they tried to leave the UK for Islamabad on December 11.
The jury was told that Mr Ibrahim explained to the officers they were going to a wedding and then on holiday and did not expect to be longer than 20 days.
When searched, one of the other men was found carrying £2,200 in cash, a military first aid kit in camouflage packaging and part of a first aid manual on how to treat ballistic injuries.
When asked about the contents, Mr Ibrahim said: "This kind of stuff comes in handy when you are on holiday."
Junior prosecution counsel Max Hill replied: "Really? You are in need of a manual telling you how to treat ballistic injuries when you are going to get married?"
Before leaving for Pakistan, Mr Ibrahim and the two men had a leaving party at the defendant's flat.
Mr Ibrahim denied Mr Hill's suggestion that it was a "jihadi sending-off party" attended by "a collection of like-minded extremist individuals, dressed in Muslim clothing, sporting long beards".
On his return to the UK in early 2005, the defendant was sent two letters by the police, urging him to hand himself in.
Both letters, addressed to his flat in Farleigh Road, Stoke Newington, north London, were found in the bins of the house belonging to co-defendant Yassin Omar of New Southgate, north London.
The defendant insisted he contacted the police once he received the letters to arrange a court date, but never heard back.
The court heard how Mr Ibrahim, Mr Omar and co-defendants Ramzi Mohammed, Adel Yahya and Hussain Osman all went on a camping trip in 2004.
Mr Ibrahim denied that they were all training for jihad.
Mr Ibrahim and Mr Omar, 26, are among the six defendants charged with conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life.
The others are Mr Osman, 28, of no fixed address, Mr Mohammed, 25, of North Kensington, west London, Mr Yahya, 24, of High Road, Tottenham, north London and Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, 33, of no fixed address.
All six deny the charges against them.