Page last updated at 15:37 GMT, Friday, 18 April 2008 16:37 UK

7/7 accused 'joined weapons camp'

Mohammed Junaid Babar
Mohammed Junaid Babar says he saw the defendents at a training camp

A man accused of helping the 7 July suicide bombers fired a rocket grenade and used an AK-47 at a secret jihadi training camp, a court has heard.

Mohammed Shakil from Leeds joined future London bomber Mohammed Siddique Khan at the Pakistan camp in July 2003.

A man convicted of al-Qaeda terrorism offences told Kingston Crown Court that Mr Shakil demonstrated the "perfect stance" as he fired the machine gun.

Mr Shakil, Waheed Ali and Sadeer Saleem deny conspiring to cause an explosion.

They are accused of carrying out a reconnaissance trip to London in December 2004.

Giving evidence for a second day, Mohammed Junaid Babar, who is in jail in the US, told the jury he had seen both Mr Shakil and Siddique Khan attend the camp high in the mountains in the Malakand district of Pakistan.

Waheed Ali, Sadeer Saleem and Mohammed Shakil
Waheed Ali, Sadeer Saleem and Mohammed Shakil deny the charge

The English men at the camp were filmed for a promotional video to raise funds for jihad among supporters in the UK, said Babar.

The American, who pleaded guilty to Al Qaeda-related offences in 2004, told the trial that during the trip he only knew Mr Shakil as "Zubair" and Siddique Khan as "Ibrahim". He said that at no time had he heard either man talk of suicide bombing.

Babar said a group of English men travelled in the back of a pick-up truck over arduous roads before walking on foot for at least five hours to reach the camp hidden high in mountains.

Mr Shakil, who is said to have a limp from childhood polio, had to be carried part of the way by a shepherd.

Babar said another man, known only as Ausman, had secured the use of AK-47 rifles, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and a light machine gun with the help of a local religious teacher. There were enough bullet magazines but only two rocket-propelled grenades, he said.

Shakil chosen

"Zubair [Mr Shakil] fired the Ak-47 and the light machine gun," said Babar. "Because we only had two rounds of the rocket launcher it was decided that he would fire one of the two RPGs."

Babar said when Zubair came to fire the RPG, he was able to hit a target on a nearby mountainside.

Paul Taylor, prosecuting, asked if Siddique Khan and Mr Shakil had featured in the video of the camp.

"They had their faces covered," said Mr Babar. "We decided to edit the video [later] and send it to the UK to raise money for jihad in Afghanistan. We did not want the authorities to recognise their faces."

"Did either Zubair or Ibrahim object?" asked Mr Taylor.

"No," replied Babar.

Motivation questioned

Representing Mr Shakil, Joel Bennathan QC asked Babar about his motivation in giving evidence.

The prisoner admitted he still held the same views and said the "correct" interpretation of jihad was fighting rather than spiritual struggle.

But he said he had struck a deal with the FBI including immunity from further prosecution. His wife and young child had also been brought from Pakistan to the US.

"How many years do you hope you might serve before being released?" asked Mr Bennathan.

"Well that's up to the Justice Department when they feel the co-operation is over and I go for sentencing," said Babar.

"It's possible you could be at liberty in a year or two for full co-operation," said Mr Bennathan. "That you will serve five years - rather than 70."

"Yes," replied Babar. "I hope, yes."

The trial continues.

Trial reporting for the BBC News website: Dominic Casciani


SEE ALSO
7/7 bomber says goodbye in video
10 Apr 08 |  England
7/7 trial: Alleged extremism
10 Apr 08 |  England


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