Page last updated at 19:28 GMT, Monday, 7 April 2008 20:28 UK

7/7 'inspired airline plotters'

The accused men
All eight men deny conspiring to murder others

Several members of a group accused of plotting to blow up passenger planes may have been inspired by the 2005 London bombings, a court has heard.

Police found photos at one man's home showing the suicide bombers who killed 52 people in attacks on the city's transport network, jurors were told.

Woolwich Crown Court also heard that had the alleged plot succeeded, the "world was unlikely to ever forget".

All eight men deny conspiring to murder and endangering aircraft in 2006.

Their arrests in August that year led to a ban on passengers carrying most liquids on board aircraft.

'Spartan existence'

On the third day of the trial, prosecutor Peter Wright QC said every one of the eight men played a vital role in the conspiracy to detonate homemade bombs aboard flights bound for north America.

"From commanding officer through quartermaster to foot soldier, each of them was a necessary component part; of those who had assembled in the UK ready, able and willing to play their part in this plot to try and bring terror to the skies in a way that the world was unlikely to ever forget," he said.

He described Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27, Assad Sarwar, 24, and Mohammed Gulzar, 26, as the ringleaders.

EIGHT ACCUSED MEN
TOP ROW OF PICTURE (L-R):
Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27
Assad Sarwar, 24
Tanvir Hussain, 27
Mohammed Gulzar, 26
BOTTOM ROW (L-R):
Ibrahim Savant, 27
Arafat Waheed Khan, 26
Waheed Zaman, 23
Umar Islam, 29

The plot involved transforming a top-floor flat in Walthamstow, east London, into a bomb factory in July 2006, Mr Wright told the court.

They planned to make hydrogen peroxide bombs disguised as soft drinks before detonating them in mid-air on an least seven passenger planes flying out of Heathrow Airport, he said.

The jury heard how Mr Gulzar flew into the UK from South Africa on 18 July 2006 on a false passport.

"He entered the UK as a radicalised Islamist pursuing a violent agenda," Mr Wright said.

"He led a Spartan existence so as not to draw attention to himself in the prelude of what would be a violent and bloody statement of intent."

A police search of his home in Barking, east London, revealed he had slept on a mattress and had very few personal possessions.

Suicide videos

Mr Wright told jurors Mr Gulzar had arrived in the UK with his new wife, who only had a one-way ticket, and soon flew on to Belgium.

He said there was little evidence the couple spent any time together and described the marriage as little more than cover for his ulterior motive to join the conspiracy.

The jury was told Mr Gulzar was not a "foot soldier" and had not intended to die on one of the targeted flights.

Arafat Waheed Khan, 26, however was an intended suicide bomber, Mr Wright said, as well as an "important conduit" between co-defendants, Mr Ali and Mr Sarwar.

He said Mr Khan's passport showed he had travelled to Pakistan between October 2005 and January 2006 at the same time as Mr Ali and Mr Sarwar.

Mr Khan was directly involved in buying bomb-making equipment and appeared in two separate suicide videos, Mr Wright added.

'Spilt blood'

Another defendant, 29-year-old Umar Islam, was found to have photographs of the 7 July suicide bombers and a martyrdom video by the gang leader at his home in Plaistow, east London, the jury was told.

The alleged bomb factory in Forest Road, Walthamstow
Defendants allegedly played tennis during visits to this flat

The court also heard CDs about jihad and martyrdom were found at a house in Walthamstow, where 23-year-old Waheed Zaman, another of the alleged plotters, lived.

One CD was called 19 Martyrs - which Mr Wright said referred to those who died in the attacks on New York's World Trade Center in September 2001.

Two other CDs were called Crusaders Return and contained images of Osama Bin Laden, and a fourth was entitled Operation JH (or Jihad), he said.

On his arrest, Mr Zaman was carrying two mobile phones, one of which contained text messages referring to paradise and "blood spilt for the sake of Allah", the court was told.

Earlier, the jury heard some of the group played tennis as they finalised their plans.

Undercover police watched Mr Ali, Mr Khan and Tanvir Hussain, 27, playing in July 2006 in between visits to the flat in Walthamstow where liquid bombs were being prepared and suicide videos recorded.

The eighth defendant is Ibrahim Savant, 27, of Stoke Newington.




video and audio news
What some of the 'martyrdom videos' said




FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific