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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
Support team 'aided terror plot'
Dhiren Barot
Dhiren Barot was jailed for a bombing plot on the UK and US
A 28-year-old man was a vital member of a gang planning a series of explosions in the UK and US, a jury has been told.

Qaisar Shaffi is accused of helping jailed plot mastermind Dhiren Barot on reconnaissance for "murderous terrorist attacks" on American cities.

Woolwich Crown Court heard six members of the Briton's "support" team have admitted roles in the case.

But Mr Shaffi, from Willesden, London, denies conspiracy to cause an explosion or explosions and conspiracy to murder.

He has also pleaded not guilty to possessing a record of information for terrorist purposes, namely an extract from the "Terrorist Handbook".

Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw said the third charge related to documents found at Mr Shaffi's house after his arrest in 2004 referring to chemicals and explosives.

He told the court Mr Shaffi's role appeared to be limited to the planning of the US attacks.

'Tearful call'

The prosecution said Barot planned to set off explosions at buildings in Newark, New York and Washington.

The plans were then to be used to target buildings and the transport system in London.

Barot's team are those who provided Barot with the support to make it possible for him to operate in this country
Jonathan Laidlaw, prosecuting

Mr Shaffi travelled to the US with Barot in March 2001 for reconnaissance of potential sites to attack such as the New York Stock Exchange, Mr Laidlaw said.

"When he went to the US, he was knowingly assisting Barot with reconnaissance for murderous terrorist attacks," he told the jury.

Mr Laidlaw claimed the defendant "effectively admitted" his guilt after his arrest in a tearful phone call to his father.

The prosecutor said: "He was heard to say...They know I went to America, they know who I met, they know names and say I know people'."

'Trusted few'

The court was told Barot required technical support and access to accommodation, transport, money and computers.

"Barot's team are those who provided Barot with the support to make it possible for him to operate in this country and possible to produce the terrorist plans," Mr Laidlaw said.

"They were among his trusted few."

The jury heard six other men have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause an explosion or explosions.

They are: Nadeem Tarmohammed, 28, from Willesden; Mohammed Naveed Bhatti, 27, of Harrow, north-west London; Mohammed Zia Ul Haq, 28, of Paddington, west London; Abdul Aziz Jalil, 34, of Luton, Bedfordshire; Omar Abdul Rehman, 23, of Bushey, Hertfordshire and Junade Feroze, 31, of Blackburn, Lancashire.

Mr Laidlaw went on to outline the roles of the six men, who are yet to be sentenced. He said:

  • Tarmohammed accompanied Barot on reconnaissance trips to the US and held plans for attacks.
  • Engineering student Bhatti stored documents in a garage at his family home and researched plans to launch a "dirty bomb" attack in the UK.
  • Ul Haq, who worked as a chartered surveyor and held an architecture degree, acted as a "consultant" for the plot which was focused on setting off explosions in buildings.
  • Jalil was Barot's minder and rented a safe house in London where false identities, money and material gathered from reconnaissance trips were stored.
  • Hotel worker Rehman is believed to have conducted research into "defeating or disabling security and fire detection systems".
  • Feroze shared "Barot's ideology" and was his chauffeur. He "employed anti-surveillance techniques" and is linked to the sending of coded messages from internet cafes.

The trial continues.


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