Page last updated at 16:15 GMT, Thursday, 19 June 2008 17:15 UK

Defendant 'planned global jihad'

Mohammed Gulzar
Mohammed Gulzar was already wanted over another serious offence

A man accused of conspiring to blow up passenger planes wanted to wage a "global jihad", a court has heard.

Mohammed Gulzar, 26, of Barking, east London, is one of eight men who deny devising the plot in 2006.

But prosecutors told Woolwich Crown Court that a series of mid-air explosions were only part of Mr Gulzar's terrorist plans.

Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said his account of his actions while under surveillance was "entirely a fraud".

The defendants in the case are accused of planning to make hydrogen peroxide bombs disguised as soft drinks which would then be detonated on at least seven planes flying out of London's Heathrow airport.

'Practised account'

Mr Gulzar was allegedly a key figure in a terror plot. The prosecution says he flew to the UK as it was close to completion where he met up with co-defendants Abdulla Ahmed Ali and Assad Sarwar.

Cross-examining him on Thursday, Mr Wright asked Mr Gulzar: "You are an international terrorist aren't you?"

He replied: "You are very wrong, I am no international terrorist."

Mr Wright said: "You may well have a practised account to give to the jury as to your movements, but I suggest that they are entirely a fraud."

I suggest you became radicalised and motivated in order to carry out global jihad
Peter Wright QC, prosecuting

Mr Gulzar replied: "You are wrong."

On Wednesday, the court heard Mr Gulzar was already wanted over another serious crime when he was arrested by British counter-terrorism police.

The jury were told he used a new identity to travel to Pakistan to avoid detection, where he claims to have spent time with his family.

But Mr Wright dismissed those claims, accusing Mr Gulzar of living "the life of a fraud".

"I suggest you became radicalised and motivated in order to carry out global jihad.

"And that part, and I emphasise part of that global jihad insofar as you were concerned, was to successfully detonate improvised explosive devices on transatlantic jets departing for America from the UK."

Mr Gulzar replied: "I was not involved in any such thing."

'Blessed operation'

The court has previously heard that Mr Gulzar returned to the UK from South Africa on 18 July 2006.

This was because he was a "sleeper" terrorist, Mr Wright said, who had waited abroad for instructions to strike.

He eventually came to the UK, the prosecutor added, "to make sure this operation was a success".

"This is the position that you were in, a supervisory role in so far as this 'blessed operation' was concerned," Mr Wright said.

Mr Gulzar replied: "That is rubbish, these people, I did not even know what they were doing. It is nothing to do with me whatsoever."

His co-defendants are: Mr Ali, 27, of Walthamstow, east London, Mr Sarwar, 25, of High Wycombe, Tanvir Hussain, 27, of Leyton, east London, Waheed Zaman, 24, and Arafat Waheed Khan, 27, also both of Walthamstow, east London.

Also charged are Ibrahim Savant, 27, of Stoke Newington, north London, and Umar Islam, 30, of Plaistow, east London.

All eight deny two joint charges of conspiring to murder and to endanger aircraft.

The trial continues.

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