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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 18:14 GMT 19:14 UK
MI5 monitored 'grenade practice'
Photograph of Mohammed Hamid with Ramzi Mohammed and Yassin Omar
Members of the alleged terror training camp were watched by MI5
An MI5 surveillance team watched suspected terrorists pretend to lob grenades during a game of football, Woolwich Crown Court has heard.

A member of the secret team said the men threw "imaginary hand grenades" and used imaginary weapons during the game at an isolated Lake District campsite.

The officer, identified as number 1259, watched the group for two days.

Five men are accused of terror offences linked to alleged terror training camps in the UK. They deny the charges.

Giving evidence in court, the former soldier said: "They adopted an imaginary fire position, when you kneel down on one knee or standing holding an imaginary weapon to shoot towards other members of the opposite team.

"They would also seem to throw imaginary hand grenades. That is pulling the pin out and throwing them towards the other team. This happened several times."

Reconnaissance operation

The court has heard that groups gathered at Baysbrown Farm, Cumbria, several times during 2004 to undertake what the prosecution claims was terrorist training.

On at least one occasion the group had been joined by the four men convicted of the July 21 failed suicide bomb attacks on the London transport network.

The officer said he was on a "reconnaissance" operation on 17 August, 2004 when he, and two colleagues, watched 14 men go through military-style drills and exercises.

The court also heard that over the two days he also saw the group running up and down hills, crawling in streams and conducting press ups and sit ups during "hard physical activity".

He said two men appeared to be leading or "training" the group, who occasionally stopped to wash in streams and pray.

Video camera problems

The jury watched video footage of a group of men running downhill on a rural track that was shot by the MI5 surveillance team.

However, under cross examination, Officer 1259 admitted he was not fully prepared for a surveillance operation.

The officer admitted that his video camera only had 20 minutes of recording time, was slow to start up and eventually stopped working.

Later, Joel Bennathan, who represents Mohammed Hamid, asked Officer 1259: "Have you greatly exaggerated the militaristic nature of what was happening that day?"

Officer 1259 said he had not. He also denied exaggerating the fitness of the men he saw running.

Photographic evidence

Two other MI5 surveillance officers, who were with Officer 1259 during the surveillance operation, also gave evidence.

One of the officers, known by the number 1365, said he took 116 digital photographs of the group between 17 and 19 August 2004.

Mr Hamid, 50, of Clapton, east London, denies providing weapons and terrorist training, soliciting murder and possessing a terrorist document.

Mr Brown, 41, of Walthamstow, east London, denies providing and receiving terrorist training.

Mr Al-Figari, 42, of Tottenham, north London, denies attending terrorist training and possessing terrorist information.

Kibley da Costa, 24, of West Norwood, south-east London, and Kader Ahmed, 20, of Plaistow, east London also deny attending training camps. Mr da Costa also denies providing terrorist training.

The case was adjourned until 18 October.



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