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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 12:59 GMT
Profile: Adel Yahya
Earlier this year four men were convicted of a botched attempt to repeat the devastation of the 7 July attacks in London. This week Adel Yahya, who had the job of sourcing bomb ingredients, admitted a lesser charge of collecting information useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. Who was he?

Adel Yahya arriving at court
Born in Ethiopia in September 1982
Lived in Yemen as a child
Came to the UK with sister 1991
Married in Yemen, 2004
Studied computers at London Metropolitan University
Knew co-accused Yassin Omar from school

Adel Yahya was not actually in London when the 21 July attacks took place - and he claimed he was unaware of what his friends were planning.

He left Britain a month before in June 2005. But police tracked him down to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in November of the same year - and he was extradited the following month.

Yahya was born in Ethiopia but moved across the Red Sea to Yemen as a child.

After coming to England and being granted to leave to remain he completed his education.

Stephen Bentley was a close friend of Yahya's at school since the age of 13.

'Friendly guy'

Mr Bentley, now a data analyst, told the trial they had shared a love of football and computer games.

He said of Yahya: "He was a very friendly guy, very into football, Arsenal fan. Very into computer games, boys' stuff, you know."

After leaving school he did a GNVQ computing course at Southgate College in north London and in October 2004 began a computer networking degree at the London Metropolitan University.

But the court heard that while at the university he told "a pack of lies" to swindle money out of his university.

He altered two bank statements in February and May 2005 to ensure he passed a means test and qualified for more than 500 of special student funding.

Links to plot

Around 2000 and 2001 Yahya and his school friend, Yassin Omar, became attracted to the radical ideology of Islamist politics.

The pair went to the Finsbury Park mosque to hear the radical preacher Abu Hamza.

Adel Yahya on camping trip in Lake District
Yahya was photographed on a camping trip in the Lake District

Yahya became increasingly distrustful of British society and told friends he did not trust the media to report world affairs accurately, the court heard.

He was said to be dumbfounded when the British and Americans over-ran the Taleban regime in Afghanistan, then held up as a model government in jihadi circles.

Yahya became involved in a London study circle attended by some of the other defendants - one of the key issues being the Iraq war and how they should respond to it.

In May 2004 Yahya joined a mysterious training camp in the Lake District along with Muktar Ibrahim, Yassin Omar, Ramzi Mohammed and Hussein Osman.

In total, more than 20 people were on the trip which included sessions of group prayer and military-like formation manoeuvres, according to the police officer who observed its final day.

A few months later, Ibrahim disappeared to Pakistan - but when he returned Yahya's attitude appeared to change, the court heard.

Terrorist CD-Rom

Secret witness "Bexhill", who used to share a flat with Yahya, told the court of seeing extremist jihadi material in the home, including videos, books and other literature well known on the Islamist political scene. One audio cassette included the phrase "where there is jihad, you need to know who to kill".

All I know is that in 2005 Adel was studying really hard. I remember he spent a lot of time in the library
Lina Yahya
Sister

One CD Rom seized by the authorities included a spreadsheet with 97 chapters, each with a list of items including details of prices for items and their countries of origin. Two chapters listed details of chemicals useful for explosives - including some of those used in the construction of the 21 July bombs.

Others listed book titles including Aircraft Safety, Terrorist Target Selection, Biological Warfare, Chemical Warfare Agents and Jihad: The Origin of the Holy War in Islam.

Yahya was tasked with identifying the best sources of concentrated hydrogen peroxide, the main ingredient for the bombs, although he always denied knowing what it was to be used for.

He visited a cosmetics shop in Finsbury Park, north London, twice in May and June 2005, to make inquiries about hydrogen peroxide, better known as hair bleach. He asked shop assistants about the available strength of the bleach and whether they could supply up to 100 litres.

He left details with one of the shops and other members of the conspiracy followed up the leads after Yahya left Britain on 11 June.

When questioned in Ethiopia, he denied having anything to do with the plot - he said the jihadi literature in his home belonged to Bexhill, a man he said who could not be trusted.

Yahya's sister Lina appeared as a character witness. She told the court that her brother had never expressed extremist views to her.

She said: "All I know is that in 2005 Adel was studying really hard. I remember he spent a lot of time in the library."

A charge of conspiracy to murder was dropped but he was jailed for six years and nine months after admitting a lesser charge of collecting information useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.



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